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Mixed fortunes for Hawk Kawasaki

Round 4 - Oulton Park - 1st May

Hawk Kawasaki riders Dean Thomas (33), Craig Coxhell (23) and Peter Hickman (19) suffered mixed fortunes at the fourth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park on Monday (1st May).

Qualifying in eighth position on the grid Dean Thomas got a flying start in the first race and settled nicely into fifth position. Leading a trio of factory riders including Honda's Ryuichi Kiyonari and Karl Harris, Thomas was fighting a strong battle and fending off the chasing pack. As half distance approached the Chesterfield based rider began to struggle with grip and chatter problems and began to drop places, finishing in 12th position overall. He was only to see half a lap in the second race after another good start he got tangled up with Suzuki rider James Haydon at Shell Oils corner forcing Thomas to crash out.

An injured Thomas said "Things definitely progressed this weekend and we made a number of alterations on the ZX10-R and we are now moving in the right direction and know where we want to be. I have broken a rib after the crash with James (Haydon) so I'm feeling a little second hand at the moment, which I could have done without. If I'm well enough, we have a test at Mallory Park this Friday, which I'd like to attend and continue making improvements with the bike."

Returning from injury his fellow Australian team-mate Craig Coxhell rode two impressive races to finish a creditable 17th and 15th places respectively. Coxhell who broke his left collar bone and tore the muscles in his right shoulder three weeks ago fought through the pain this weekend and battled around the demanding circuit.

Coxhell said "Oulton is certainly a very difficult circuit to ride when you are fully fit so I was struggling a lot this weekend with my injuries. All I wanted to do was finishes both races and learn more about bike and the track for the next time we visit there in July. The bike was moving around a fair bit towards the end of the races so I was having to ride it harder than normal. I did struggle with bike fitness but this is just a time thing and hopefully I will be fully fit by Mondello in three weeks."

Youngest rider in the British Superbike Series, Peter Hickman gained a 20th and 19th position in the two races at the Cheshire circuit. Hickman who is contending his first year on a Superbike is learning the trade well, the Lincolnshire based rider was locked in a battle with experienced Superbike rider Kieran Clarke in race one and Clarke's team-mate Billy McConnell in the second race.

Commenting "It's been a tough weekend but I managed two race finishes which I'm pleased about. I'm learning so much and realise what a tough class the Superbike series is. I've had a couple of crashes at the last few meetings and so my main aim at Oulton was to stay on, which I did. I still have a long way to go and still focusing on scoring some Championship points."

The Hawk Kawasaki Team will be testing at Mallory Park on Friday 5th May.
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