Marham-based RAF Reserves claim some big scalps in first round of BSB Championship

Peter Hickman (RAF Reserves BMW 1000) claimed two superb finishes at Donington. Picture: Barry Clay

Peter Hickman (RAF Reserves BMW 1000) claimed two superb finishes at Donington. Picture: Barry Clay - Credit: Archant

The first round of the 2015 BSB Championships saw the teams and riders from East Anglia hold their heads up high as they turned in some great results and performances.

The RAF Reserves Team from RAF Marham could never have imagined that they would be leaving as the top BMW team in the Superbike races, but, despite no pre-season testing, Peter Hickman turned in two epic rides on the RAF Reserves BMW.

Hickman finished the first practice session in 17th place, but by Sunday evening had claimed seventh place on the grid and when the lights went out he was on a charge taking a well- earned fifth place after 20 laps of hard-fought action in race one, beating the official BMW teams along the way.

In race two fans were treated to more of the same as he battled with Cristian Iddon, Josh Brookes and Michael Laverty, who was on the official Tyco BMW and this time he claimed a superb fourth.

Morello Racing, from Norwich, had their problems in the first race when Victor Cox had to retire with a blown engine in his Morello Kawasaki and Dan Johnson came home in 22nd on his.

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The team worked very hard and managed to change the engine just in time for Cox to make the start of race two, but he was plagued with a slipping clutch for the duration of the race, finishing 21st while Johnson finished one place ahead in 20th this time. Team owner Steve Buckenham was happy with their opening performances and expects to get better results as they get used to the bikes.

If things got off to a bit of a slow start on the superbikes for Morello Racing the same could not be said for them in the Superstock 1000 when Josh Elliot stormed off into the lead and held it for about six laps, holding off Hudson Kennaugh, Adam Jenkinson and Alastair Seeley. After a titanic battle, that saw Elliot go from first to fourth, he charged past Seeley as they went down to Goddards for the last time and took a well-deserved second behind Kennaugh.

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John Ingram had to retire his Morello Kawasaki with a broken footrest which caused his foot to go under the bike when it snapped. Unfortunately the team's German rider Marcus Geuthner failed to make the cut for the race.

In the Supersport Evo class, King's Lynn's Freddy Pett qualified the Dales Triumph in 10th place on the grid and was having a good first ride in Sunday's Supersport Sprint race when he went down and destroyed the front end of his bike. After a lot of hard work from his team he was involved in a fierce scrap in Monday's race and took sixth place in the Evo class and 15th overall.

In the Superstock 600, Gorleston teenager Charlie King was happy to make the cut and take 19th in the race. King said that as each session ended he was going quicker and then he put in his best laps of the weekend in the race. Norwich rider Jack Keen was one of those left disappointed to not make the grid for the race.

Long Stratton Sidecar team Ben Bygrave and Justin Sharpe had a DNF on Sunday, but on Monday they were in the thick of the action with their Blue Machinery LCR Suzuki until the race was stopped after a blown engine laid oil on the track.

The race was finally re-run at the end of the day and this time they made sure of a great result by bringing it home in seventh place.

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