Hickman hampered by bad luck at Ulster Grand Prix


Hickman

Peter Hickman’s challenge at the 2016 Ulster Grand Prix was brought to a premature end due to a puncture and technical problems.

The GBmoto Racing Kawasaki rider had great pace throughout practice and qualifying, leading to a positive mood throughout the team on race day.

Hickman was able to put his Superbike-spec Kawasaki ZX-10R in second place ahead of Superpole, whilst slotting the Superstock machine into ninth.

With the new one-lap format Superpole being pushed back to Saturday, he powered the Superbike around the seven-mile circuit to claim third place and a front row start for the two main races.

Enjoying a fantastic start in the opening Superstock race, he leapt from his third row starting position to lead at the halfway point around the opening lap. Crossing the start line at the beginning of lap two in second place narrowly behind eventual winner Ian Hutchinson, disaster soon struck and, just like in the corresponding race at the Isle of Man TT, a puncture forced him to retire at the end of lap two.

A disappointed Hickman said:It’s been a tough day, I felt I could have won the stock race this morning, was leading from the first corner but halfway through lap one I knew I had an issue. Turns out it was a rear puncture.

Hickman made another fantastic start in the opening Superbike race and was involved in a four rider battle for the lead.

Setting the fastest lap of the race on the third circulation, just 0.1s outside the lap record and a stunning 133.99mph average, it looked set to be a nail biting finish. Unfortunately a technical fault towards the end of lap five forced him to retire.

Following the technical fault in the opening race, Hickman started the final Superbike race using his Superstock ZX-10R machine.

Enjoying a strong opening lap to run fourth over the line, he was just unable to stay with the higher power of the Superbikes, taking the chequered flag in a credible seventh place.

His overall race time however was faster than the Superstock winning time from earlier in the day.

Hickman added: “The Superbike race went well, I was comfortable and running with the leaders no problem, then had a technical problem with the bike. I recorded the fastest lap of the race though at 133.892mph and clocked 199.8mph through the speed trap. Last race was tough on the stocker in the Superbike race, 7th was as much as I can do.”

Hickman was however able to climb the rostrum in the second Supersport outing, carving his way through the field over the closing stages to claim third.