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Peter Hickman full speed ahead to Ulster GP after race to hospital



Striking it Rich : Richard Bird heading for motocross win at Seaforde

Striking it Rich : Richard Bird heading for motocross win at Seaforde

Striking it Rich : Richard Bird heading for motocross win at Seaforde

Top English rider Peter Hickman, due at Dundrod for opening Ulster Grand Prix practice on Wednesday, experienced a drama-filled weekend at Thruxton, leaving a hospital sick bed yesterday at midday to finish on the podium in both British Superbike races.

Peter explained: "It started off a good weekend on Friday, then Saturday morning I woke up really ill. I managed to get through qualifying before the team and family sent for the paramedics and I was in the local hospital by 11pm with a kidney infection.

"I was on a drip all night and left the hospital at midday with the first Superbike race at 1.30pm. I was 14th or 15th at one stage, but had conserved my rear tyre to make headway and finish third, totally drained."

The Smiths BMW rider, after a rest, went even better in race two finishing second, just behind race winner Josh Brookes, after a race long scrap with race one winner Leon Haslam, Jake Dixon and Tarren Mackenzie to move within seven points of a top six Showdown position.

Hickman said: "It was a great race weekend for the Smiths BMW Team, apart from the hospital bit. We are now where we should be after a difficult start to the season."

For the Irwin brothers it did not go well yesterday after claiming their unique first and third places on the grid on Saturday.

Andrew crashed out of fifth position in race one on the third lap, Glenn finishing fifth, and then in race two Glenn was never in the hunt with tyre woes on the abrasive, high speed circuit, finishing ninth with Andrew on a rebuilt PBM Be Wiser Ducati 11th.

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Tyco BMW had a nightmare with Michael Laverty crashing at the chicane on lap two of race one unable to avoid two fallen riders, then finishing 13th in race two.

Josh Elliott took his first win for the OMG Suzuki team in an epic five-rider Superstock 1000cc 16-lap battle that went down to the chicane on the final lap.

Swapping places throughout, Elliott slid under Lee Jackson on the brakes to claim victory with Taylor Mackenzie snatching second from Jackson on the dash to the chequered flag. Billy McConnell secured fourth, championship leader Keith Farmer fifth and Joe Collier sixth.

Jack Kennedy was another heroic performer, still suffering from a broken right hand, but emerged second in the opening Supersport race on Saturday and yesterday won the feature race after his championship rival Ben Currie crashed out at the chicane with Kennedy declared the winner after the red flag incident.

The Dubliner now leads the championship by 36 points from Currie, who was uninjured.

Aaron Clifford and Korie McGreevy both crashed out of potential podium finishes in the Superstock 600cc race while Eunan McGlinchey finished second in both Junior Supersport races to take a seven-point lead in the championship.

√The penultimate round of the Irish Motocross championship at Seaforde on Saturday saw Richard Bird claim the Premier MX1 title with a round to spare, finishing the day with two firsts and a second after crashing in the first corner of race two.

Jason Meara clinched the Premier MX2 championship playing second fiddle to James Mackrel in races one and two before putting in a champion's performance in race three, beating Mackrel to the chequered flag by 35 seconds.

In a day of double wins, six champions were crowned in the various classes ahead of the final round at Vernon Mount, Co. Cork in September.

Semi Expert MX1 produced another champion in Ballygowan's Johnny Presho taking his KTM to the overall win and the title - second on the day was local man Downpatrick's Christopher Orr with Michael Clyde third overall

Semi Expert MX2 saw Dublin teenager Lee Coffey clinch the championship on his Honda while Clubman MX1 was its usual procession behind treble winner, Downpatrick KTM man Jordan Wade, with local man Ballykinler resident Fintan Fallon riding to three second places, chased every race by Ballyclare youngster Jamie Mottram on his two stroke KTM to three thirds.

Clubman MX2 had an interesting start to the day when the three Championship protagonists got away together before Daniel McFerran from Newcastle dropped it, followed by Ruari Grimes from Lurgan falling on the last lap to allow Scott Bailey from Markethill to take the win.

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