BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Cadwell Park, Great Britain, 26/08/2015, British Superbike Championship
At the eighth race weekend of the British Superbike Championship (BSB) in Cadwell Park, the BMW riders celebrated non-stop. They made it the most successful weekend for BMW in the series to date: In two thrilling races, they secured four of the six podium positions available. Peter Hickman, who lives a stone’s throw from the track, climbed onto the podium twice for the first time in his BSB career. Billy McConnell celebrated his first podium finish in the series. Tommy Bridewell also took a champagne shower. In the Superstock class, Alastair Seeley and Hudson Kennaugh rode onto the podium once again on their RRs.
In the first of the two races, the BMW riders really fought their way to the front, in particular, local hero Peter Hickman (RAF Reserves BMW) and rookie Billy McConnell (Smiths Racing BMW). In the final phase of the race, they staged a gripping battle for podium positions with their fellow BMW riders Tommy Bridewell and Michael Laverty (both Tyco BMW). Hickman managed to pull away slightly and secure second place behind the winner and leader of the championship Josh Brookes.
Two weeks after celebrating his first win in international road racing at the Ulster GP, Hickman rode onto the podium again, this time in the BSB. And that was despite picking up heavy bruises and a deep wound on his left elbow after a hefty highsider on Saturday morning. “A big thank you goes to the team, they did a fantastic job throughout the weekend and repaired the bike incredibly quickly after the fall. It felt great after that, perhaps even better than it did before the crash,” said Hickman.
The race remained exciting behind him: McConnell and Bridewell battled for third place down to the final lap. Initially it was Bridewell who was ahead, but McConnell countered with a sensational manoeuvre shortly before the end – which saw him secure his first podium position in the BSB on his BMW S 1000 RR.
“It was a fantastic race, and my thanks go to the team,” said the beaming Australian. “It shows what we are capable of achieving when everything fits. Cadwell Park is an extremely narrow track and you have to pull off the kind of manoeuvre that I did. This result was what we have been striving for throughout the year, and there was no way I was going to give up the podium.”
Bridewell crossed the finish line in fourth, just two tenths of a second behind McConnell. His team-mate Laverty was just 0.147 seconds slower in fifth place. This saw four BMW riders in the top five positions. Richard Cooper, who raced on a third BMW S 1000 RR in action for Buildbase BMW Motorrad, finished eighth. His team-mates Lee Jackson and Ryuichi Kiyonari also picked up points for 12th and 14th places.
In the second race, the BMW riders delighted fans with another breath-taking show. Hickman and Bridewell staged a thrilling battle down to the wire for second place behind leader Brookes. In the end it was Hickman who prevailed thanks to a courageous manoeuvre, and he finished second once again. This saw him celebrate his first double podium in the BSB on his RAF Reserves BMW.
“I made a minor error and Tommy was able to squeeze past. But I stayed close behind him. He was a little bit slower than me in some places so I thought that I would wait until the final lap,” described Hickman. “I would like to thank everyone who supported me this weekend. Two podiums in the dry help to put the doubters out. Now it is important to carry on this form.”
Bridewell was 0.175 seconds slower and finished in third. The Tyco BMW rider was also pleased: “It feels good to be back and to be fighting for the podium in races like this one. That gives the whole team an extra boost.”
McConnell finished sixth this time, closely followed by Cooper on the Buildbase BMW S 1000 RR in seventh place. Jackson crossed the finish line in 11th, ahead of Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW) in 12th. Bridewell’s team-mate Laverty was also involved in the battle for the podium, but came off the track on the 12th lap.
There are three races to go before the “Title Showdown” gets underway in the BSB. These three races will be held at Oulton Park on the ninth race weekend of the season (5th and 6th September). After that there will be an interim result. At the remaining three events, the top six riders in the overall standings will use a special points system to contest the BSB title among themselves.
In the current overall standings, Bridewell has moved up into fourth place with 141 points. Laverty is in sixth with 126 points. Cooper, who was on the BMW for the first time in Cadwell Park, is in ninth. McConnell and Hickmann are currently 11th and 12th overall. All three of these riders are also still in with a mathematical chance of qualifying for the “Title Showdown” in Oulton Park.
The BMW riders also claimed podium positions in the Superstock class of the BSB (BSB STK). Alastair Seeley (Tyco BMW) finished the ninth race of the season in second place. He was joined on the podium by Hudson Kennaugh (Trik-Moto BMW) in third place. He was followed by another RR rider: Luke Quigley (Formwise Washrooms / Bathams) finished fourth. Dominic Usher (DU Racing BMW) and Billy Mellor (Able Engineering) also rode into the top ten, finishing eighth and tenth.