Peter Hickman translated pole position into a victory in race two at Thruxton, and brought home an incredible debut victory for Smiths Racing BMW.
It took Hickman just ten laps to take the lead, after Jake Dixon took the hole shot and led until lap eight, where Shane Byrne took over. Hickman managed to get back in front of Byrne just two laps later to lead for four laps. All the time Josh Brookes was picking his way through the leading group, and with just four laps to go, took over the lead. It looked as if Brookes would be taking the double at Thruxton, until he lost the front on the penultimate lap and went sliding into the grass on Cobb Corner, handing the lead back to Hickman who held on to take the team’s first victory from Dixon and Leon Haslam, who endured a tough battle with Christian Iddon and came out on top.
Byrne didn’t manage to improve on his fourth place finish from race one. From lap ten onwards, Byrne was constantly coming under attack from the rider behind him, which was continuously changing as he dropped back through the field due to tyre degredation – something a lot of the riders had struggled with throughout the weekend. He was eventually forced to retire from the race.
Thruxton is the fastest track on the British calendar, and challenges the rear tyre, especially the right side. Riders have to push to the absolute maximum and as Byrne was on the softer compound tyre, he would’ve expected quicker wear. Television coverage of Byrne’s bike after retirement showed complete delamination from the inside right of his Pirelli tyre.
After a fantastic weekend of spectacular racing, it was announced that one of the riders caught up in the Superstock 1000 crash earlier on in the day had passed away. Mark Fincham of True Heroes Racing unfortunately succumbed to his injuries, and our thoughts are with his friends, family and team at this difficult time. The remainder of the racing went ahead as per his family and team’s request.
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