Rutter's demise ensured Hickman was free to score an excellent maiden BSB podium, a rich reward for him in what has been an excellent weekend. Second place also marks the best BSB result yet for Tyco Honda and comes after Tommy Bridewell scored a podium at the Brands Hatch opener.
John Hopkins crossed the line in third position for another impressive podium finish, the American getting the better of Dan Linfoot on the penultimate lap. Frustratingly for Linfoot, he would also be passed on the final bend by Hill, leaving him in fifth.
A year on from scoring a maiden BSB win at Thruxton, Josh Brookes completed a quiet weekend in sixth, though he did get the better of Laverty, who couldn't match the pace that took him to victory in race one as he finished seventh.
Chris Walker took his second top ten finish of the day on the improving Pr1mo Kawasaki, ahead of Jon Kirkham and Martin Jessopp, while Loris Baz and James Westmoreland completed a disappointing weekend for Motorpoint Yamaha in 11th and 12th. John Laverty, Gary Mason – who started from the pit lane – and Steve Brogan rounded out the points.
Elsewhere, reigning champion Ryuichi Kiyonari was well off the pace once again, crossing the line in 22nd overall, while Barry Burrell completed his second EVO win of the day for Buildbase BMW.
In the championship race, Byrne and Hopkins have pulled away from the chasing pack as they look strong bets for a shootout place, though things remain somewhat tighter behind them.
Indeed, with four rounds gone, the absent Stuart Easton remains third, ahead of Hill, Laverty and now Hickman, who is now the only rider to have finished every race inside the points this season. Kiyonari is down to seventh, though nine points cover Hill in fourth down to Kirkham in ninth.