The hero of last weekend was Peter Hickman (GBR). The Smiths Racing Team BMW rider finished second and third at round seven of the 2018 British Superbike Championship (BSB) at Thruxton (GBR) to claim his first podium results of the season – all that despite having spent the previous night in a hospital and only returning to the circuit shortly before the start of race one.
Hickman was feeling unwell before qualifying on Saturday. While he was able to take part in the session, his condition deteriorated afterwards. On Saturday evening, he was taken to Winchester (GBR) hospital, where he was diagnosed with a kidney infection. Hickman spent the night in there and was only discharged at lunchtime on Sunday.
As though nothing had happened, however, Hickman appeared on the starting grid in time for the opening race – and 20 laps later, he crossed the finish line in third place, just 0.883 seconds behind the winner. In race two, he was embroiled in a two-man battle for the win, eventually finishing 0.305 seconds off the lead in second place. The two podium results propelled Hickman into seventh place in the championship, just seven points outside the six coveted Showdown places.
Tyco BMW rider Christian Iddon (GBR) finished 13th in race one and failed to finish race two. His team-mate Michael Laverty (GBR) was a non-finisher in the opening race and took 13th in race two.
Peter Hickman: “I only got discharged from hospital at noon on Sunday so to be standing on the podium at 2pm was pretty unreal! The weekend had started well on Friday but on Saturday I started to feel unwell and although I managed to put a lap in during qualifying, I got worse on Saturday evening. The paramedics were called out and I was whisked away to hospital, subsequently being diagnosed with a kidney infection. I felt a bit better on Sunday and went back to the circuit and gave it my best shot. We needed a good weekend after a poor start to the season and that’s what we got, so to be right back in Showdown contention is just what I wanted.”
In the Superstock race (BSB STK), Taylor MacKenzie finished runner-up on the Bathams Racing BMW S1000RR. Keith Farmer (GBR / Tyco BMW Motorrad) came home fifth to extend his overall lead in the championship. Michael Rutter (GBR / Bathams Racing) and Dean Hipwell (GBR / Selective Networks) also finished in the top-ten in eighth and tenth places respectively.