Peter Hickman stormed to a heroic double podium at Thruxton this weekend just hours after being rushed to hospital by ambulance in the middle of the night.
After a disappointing first half of the season, Hickman was keen to kickstart his 2018 campaign at a circuit where he won and finished second last year and things got off to a strong start for the Smiths BMW rider as he topped both of Friday’s sessions. However, a spanner was thrown in the works as he took ill at the circuit on Saturday.
He looked set to miss Sunday’s two races after being taken to Winchester General on Saturday night, where he was diagnosed with a kidney infection, but the determined Lincolnshireman convinced doctors to let him return to the Hampshire circuit in time for Sunday’s race action.
Despite missing warm-up, Hickman showed strong in the opening race to be running fifth in the closing stages before a coming together between Jason O’Halloran and Josh Brookes gifted him third place. However, a heroic ride in race two saw him earn a well-deserved runner-up spot, crossing the line just 0.3 seconds behind race victor Josh Brookes.
“I had a fever while in Japan, but I thought it had gone,” Hickman explained. “I was fine on Thursday and Friday, but on Saturday morning I woke up feeling horrendous with a banging headache and fever that got worse throughout the day.
“It was boiling hot outside but I was freezing cold! I went to bed after doing the absolute minimum possible in qualifying and I was drifting in and out of consciousness. When my girlfriend Nat arrived, she wasn’t too happy so got the paramedics round and they decided to call an ambulance and into A&E I went. Turns out I had a kidney infection…
“I was determined to get back to the track, and once I proved I was fit I thought we would try and get as many points as possible. Towards the end of the first race I was feeling pretty weak, but I felt much better in the second.”