‘King of the Mountain’ Peter Hickman enjoyed the best weekend of his long British Superbike Championship career at Cadwell Park when he not only took his first victory since Thruxton in 2017 but also took two wins in a single weekend for the first time. It was also the first wins in BSB for Faye Ho’s FHO Racing team.
Taking full advantage of the meeting taking place at his and the team’s local round, the BMW rider was fast throughout all three days and only a slide on the final lap in the final race denied him a clean sweep.
All three races followed a similar pattern with the Louth-based rider biding his time in the early stages before working his way to the front and then looking to make a break. Championship leader Jason O’Halloran made sure that wasn’t a formality but victory in Saturday’s race was the ideal start to the weekend.
“We’ve had a bad run of luck recently and I’ve made the odd bad tyre decision but on Saturday everything ran perfectly,” he said. “The bike was so smooth and I knew I had the pace so I got by Jason as soon as I could and knew I needed to do the same to Glenn [Irwin].”
“Fortunately for me, he made a mistake at the hairpin to give me the lead so that made the task a lot easier! As soon as I had the clear road in front of me, I pushed hard and made the break and that opened up the gap over everyone else.”
Overnight rain looked like it could have an effect on Sunday’s races around the 2.2-mile circuit but weather conditions were perfect when the lights went out and Hickman was able to repeat Saturday’s win in Sunday’s opener despite O’Halloran’s best efforts.
“The bike was working really well but the pace was definitely slower and the overnight rain meant there wasn’t as much grip out there particularly through turns one to three.”
“Jason closed me down in the last few laps and I could hear him coming so knew he’d probably have a go into Park. I braked as late as I dared without compromising the exit and it worked perfectly. That second win felt great especially as it was the first time I’ve ever won more than one race in a weekend.”
A fairytale weekend, for both Hickman and the team, looked like it would come to fruition when he again seized control in the final race but a slide at Coppice at the beginning of the final lap allowed O’Halloran to get ahead and denied him the hat-trick. His triple podium was, however, enough for the Milwaukee King of the Mountain trophy.
“I’ve got to be happy with two wins and a second but I’m annoyed with myself for the last race. It was mine to lose but Jason was with me all the way and I knew I’d need a low 26 on the last lap. The bike just spun up through turn one though, at about 120-130mph, and the bike came right round on me.”
“I was lucky to stay on and I just didn’t have the pace to get back at Jason. The only way I was going to get ahead was if it was a massive lunge and that’s not my style.”
“You don’t get many chances to win three on a weekend but we’ve taken two wins, taken loads of points and given BMW their first ever BSB victory at Cadwell so there are lots of positives to take away – and all at mine and the team’s local track!”