Peter Hickman hails his MCE British Superbike season opener as an 'unbelievable weekend', admitting his fourth and fifth place finishes were genuine shocks on board his RAF Reserves BMW.

The 28-year-old ended the first round of the new BSB season at Donington Park as top BMW rider and fifth in the riders' standings, despite having very limited running time on his BMW S1000RR during the winter. The RAF Reserves team only received the machine two weeks ahead of the first race and hadn't been able to make a vast amount of adjustments to the bike ahead of the first race.

"This weekend has been unbelievable if I'm honest and was totally unexpected to finish top BMW and fifth in the championship," Hickman beamed. "I'm feeling over the moon.

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"It was an incredible effort from the team as a lot of effort has gone into getting ready for this weekend after changing manufacturers. They stuck their neck out as a small team and it takes a lot of time, money and effort to do it, so fair play to them. They've upped their game so I'm so happy to give them a top result in both races."

Hickman has turned out to be the surprise package of the new BSB season after qualifying seventh of the grid, in front of a number of highly-experienced names. The former race winner demonstrated the team has consistent race pace after battling in the front pack in both races.

"Finishing top BMW just proves how good the bike is straight out of the box," he added. "There is a lot of stuff on that bike which is standard and we've managed fourth and fifth. However, the bike isn't perfect and there is quite a bit of room for improvement despite our good result.

"But still it is my first weekend on it with very little running time beforehand and it's been mega."