Peter Hickman says he took a big risk going for victory in race two at the 2016 MCE British Superbike season opener in the last-corner scrap with Shane Byrne but it paid off in style.
The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider says he knew he had the pace to challenge for the rostrum after his race one charge was prematurely ended due to a technical issue, and adopted a similar plan which saw him lead for the majority of the race but was forced into a frantic final corner fight with Shane Byrne after he ran wide at Brooklands.
The pair charged out of Luffield level pegging but in the short sprint through Woodcote to the chequered flag Hickman got perfect drive from his Kawasaki ZX-10R to claim a pulsating win, his second in his BSB career, by 0.099s.
“In the last few laps with Shakey behind because the Ducati is so chuffing loud it was quite off putting but I needed to keep my cool,” Hickman said. “I did run deep at Brooklands which gave him a shot at it and I went too tight into Luffield which meant I ran wide and he snuck underneath.
“I thought there was no way I was doing all that work and not winning so it was going to be one or the other so I pinned right from the apex and closed my eyes.
“It is a big relief after the disappointment of race one as we knew we'd be strong towards the end of the race. It was a surprise that we couldn't go quite so fast at the start and to start 16th on the grid in race one we were a long way back so to be able to pull those places back and literally get on to the front group before our technical issue. All credit to the team, they did a fantastic job all winter.”
After his pointless outing in the 2016 curtain raiser, Hickman's victory elevated him to fourth in the BSB championship while also picking up five podium credits ahead of the Showdown.