Ma­cau champ vows to fight for wins at TT and BSB af­ter sign­ing hot new deal with Smiths BMW

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - BSB RE­PORTER oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.