HICKMAN: NEW BSB & ROADS DEAL DONE
Macau champ vows to fight for wins at TT and BSB after signing hot new deal with Smiths BMW
BSB star and road racing sensation Peter Hickman is targeting TT glory after signing a new deal with a top team.
Just two years after becoming the TT’S fastest ever newcomer, Hickman’s quickest lap of 132.465mph in the 2016 Superbike race saw him become the fourth quickest man in TT history and now he’s hoping to put a disappointing 2016 behind him.
Hickman has already won races at both the Ulster and Macau Grand Prix, but is now firmly focused on the big one – the Isle of Man TT. He said: “I’m fairly confident I could have finished on the podium in the Senior TT last year. I know that’s quite a big thing to say as we retired with a technical issue quite early on but at the Bungalow on lap two I was 11 seconds in front of fourth and had already clocked a 131.8mph lap from a standing start. That’s my fastest standing start lap by a long way.
“I feel I’d definitely have gone faster than the 132.4mph lap I did in the Superbike race, probably even on that lap and I’m pretty confident I had a 133mph lap in me so I’d have been well in with a shout of being somewhere near Hutchy.
“I was unlucky this year, I had a load of problems. I think we could have been in contention for a podium in the stock race and top five in the first Supersport race but problems ruled us out. Again, I was in with a shout of winning the Superstock and Superbike races at the Ulster until a technical problem ruled us out.”
The 2017 deal with Smiths sees Hickman move back to BMW machinery this year, but he’ll also race the Gloucester-based squad’s Tt-winning Triumph 675 in the Supersport class.
“I’m looking forward to getting back on the BMW, we know how strong it is on the roads. I generally get on with the bike well. The base, Superstock bike is just so strong to start with. It’s got a really strong engine and is fast enough, so it takes away a lot of the problems.”
Hickman will also race the Smiths BMW in the MCE British Superbike series, in which he scored two wins and won the Riders’ Cup for being the best-placed non-showdown rider after narrowly missing out on the top six shootout.
“I scored 233 points in BSB this year which in any other year would have easily got me into the Showdown! This year wasn’t so easy. I won two races and finished on the podium four times so if I’m honest I was a bit disappointed not to attract interest from a manufacturer for 2017, but I’m happy to have signed for Smiths as they’ve been around a bit and are a good, family-run team and really enthusiastic.”
While the 29-year-old has already shown his race-winning potential on both the short circuits and the roads, Hickman remains modest about his goals in 2017.
“My target for BSB is simple,” he said. “I just want to make it into the Showdown and on the way to doing that take as many race wins as possible. It would be good to get the BMW winning races weekend in, weekend out as nobody has managed to do that since Kiyonari. On the roads, I want to be at least on the podium across the North West, TT, Ulster and Macau and I think we’ve shown that’s possible.”
‘I could have got close to Hutchy. There’s a 133mph TT lap in me’ PETER HICKMAN
Hickman hopes his 2017 season won’t be a horror show