“We’re not playing tiddlywinks!” - Hickman ‘shocked’ by DQ for O’Halloran clash

Peter Hickman lashes out at Race Direction for disqualifying him after the final lap collision that eliminated BSB Showdown contender Jason O'Halloran

Peter Hickman - FHO Racing BMW

Peter Hickman has expressed his bewilderment at being thrown out of the results for the opening British Superbike Championship race at Oulton Park after being judged to have been at fault for a collision with Jason O’Halloran that eliminated the title contender on the last lap.

Hickman and O’Halloran came to blows after the FHO Racing BMW rider made a lunge for third place as they climbed the hill towards the late apex Druids right-hand complex for the final time.

Catching O’Halloran unawares, he turned in to find Hickman slithering up the inside but not before his McAMS Yamaha clipped the back of his rival’s bike before folding and being sent barrelling into the gravel trap.

A miserable outcome for O’Halloran a year on from seeing the BSB title he was hot favourite for begin to unravel with a crash at the same circuit, the Australian - looking visibly furious as he remonstrated in the immediate aftermath - was particularly furious at being eliminated by a rider not competing for the title in the Showdown.

“I’m disappointed, we’ve worked all year for this and someone that’s not even in it has just absolutely cleaned me out. I didn’t see him, I didn’t hear him, I just got hit really hard into Druids. Physically I’m alright, the bike is bent in half so the boys have got a big job on tonight. 

“I’m gutted, I was lining Tommy [Bridewell] up for a pass into the last turn, it should have been 20 points for us and now we are a pretty big chunk behind. I’ve worked my balls off all year for this and I’ve been taken out just like that.”

It was a viewpoint shared by Race Direction, who promptly reacted by excluding Hickman - who finished fourth after being overtaken by Leon Haslam as he recovered from the contact - and handing him two points on his licence.

However, Hickman - while maintaining he was ‘gutted’ to see O’Halloran crash out as a result of their collision - has hit out at the decision to disqualify him 

Writing on social media, Hickman posted an image of Ayrton Senna featuring his famous quote ‘if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver’ and expressed his ‘shock’ at being punished for what he considers a racing incident.

“Of course I’m absolutely gutted that JO and McAms Yamaha didn’t finish that race, that was never my intention and never would be. I’m just glad he’s ok.

“I am however shocked at Race Direction’s decision, don’t get me wrong they have a tough job to do but disqualification, 2 points on my race licence and a 3 place grid penalty is absolutely way over the top. We are racing, not playing tiddlywinks! 

“I stand by what I said on Eurosport after the race, there was a gap, he was weak in that area and I was strong, and I had a chance of a podium so of course I had a go. It’s a huge shame that he tagged the back of my bike and went down, but we are racing on very small margins and sometimes it happens.”

Following comments made by O’Halloran and McAMS Yamaha boss Steve Rodgers, Hickman dismissed assertions he should have been playing it safer around the eight Title Showdown contenders.

“As for the comments about showdown positions (not having a go at passing someone because they’re in the showdown) and lack of respect etc etc I completely disagree, but each to their own, eh?”

As well as the exclusion and points on his licence, Hickman’s three-place grid penalty for Race 2 robs him the pole position he had achieved by setting the fastest lap in Race 1.