LOUTH rider Peter Hickman insists he can be back challenging the MCE Insurance British Superbike big boys before the season is out – despite a weekend to forget at Brands Hatch.
After a stop-start 2012 season to date, Hickman has finally found some stability in the shape of the Buildbase BMW Mottorad team for whom he will ride for the remainder of the campaign.
However, that stability was not matched by Hickman himself in the first race of the weekend at the Kent circuit. The Louth ace crashed out on lap ten.
More disappointment followed in the second contest of the day with Hickman again unable to finish the race, meaning he left the weekend with no points to his name.
Hickman admitted that frustration was only exacerbated by the undeniable potential of his weekend’s work, but was still anxious to focus on the positives.
He said: “A podium by the end of the season is a realistic aim – obviously we need to get some top-sixes under our belt, but we’re moving in the right direction.
“The team are really doing a superb job, so the sky is the limit.
“The bike has been working really well all weekend. I know that I can do one really fast lap, but I can’t do consistently quick ones, so in a race that always helps and that’s the encouragement we need going forward.
“It was great racing at Brands in that kind of weather, there’s always a real buzz, so it was special to be part of the race.
“It wasn’t a really big crash in the first race. I just slid off, which was unfortunate because I felt really comfortable running where I was.
“That’s the first time I was running with that group all season, so I would have preferred to have stayed with them a little longer.”
Hickman’s travails in Kent mean he sits 18th in the overall standings with 27 points.
The 25-year-old knows only too well the size of his task competing against teams that have been together all season compared to his embryonic relationship with his new BMW machinery.
However, he’s adamant that round eight, coming as it does on home soil at Cadwell Park, can be a good one.
“I’m staying until the end of the season, so the aim is to get some top-sixes for the team,” added Hickman who was enjoying his third race weekend with his new employers.
“We’re making good steps forward and I think we can do that.
“It has been hard work getting to where I am currently.”
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