Tough time for Peter Hickman in Holland
- Credit: Archant
The British Superbike Championships crossed the water to race at Assen in Holland at the Circuit van Drenthe.
The RAF Reserves team from Marham were doing very well in the final Extreme Qualifying in the shootout for pole position for Sunday's races. Peter Hickman had no trouble getting the team's 1000cc Honda through the first session and in the second session put it on top of the pile with the fastest lap showing everyone that the damp conditions were not bothering him. Unfortunately as the timed session came to an end Hickman did drop the Honda and the team were struggling to get the bike ready for the final session.
With only a few minutes left to the end he finally got on to the track but was left starting Sunday's first race from the fourth row of the grid.
Conditions for race one were wet but the rain had stopped so it was all down to tyre choices and the RAF team like others gambled on full wets while others went for an intermediate rear. On the first lap Josh Brookes, who had started from the pit lane, crashed at De Strubben trying to make up ground and was then black flagged for remounting his bike. The race then took up from where it left off from Donington with Ryuichi Kiyonari and Shane Byrne taking charge on a fast drying track.
Hickman slowly dropped back to 15th place and for the first time since joining the team for Round Four Hickman was struggling due to the tyre choice. However on lap nine heavy rain came back and it became a race of attrition.
As Byrne and a few others hit the deck he started to move up the running order and when the chequered flag came out he was in 12th place with Josh Waters taking his second win of the year.
Race two and conditions were dry and Hickman was out to get back into the top 10 again but on the first lap he, along with Chris Walker and Ben Wilson, got caught up when Patric Muff crashed at De Strubben. While Wilson was able to rejoin, that was the end of things for the other three and Walker was treated by the paramedics.
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It resulted in a win for Byrne with Kiyonari in second and Tommy Bridewell third. The Norwich-based Morello team saw John Ingram crash out in the first race when the rain returned and in race two he finished in 16th. It is the first time Hickman has been out the top seven since Oulton Park in August but he retained 11th place in the championship.