Peter Hick­man

Age 30 De­but 2014 Best re­sult 4th

Motorcycle News (UK) - - TT 2017 PREVIEW -

‘Podium fin­ishes are my tar­get this year’ PETER HICK­MAN

Laid­back and ami­able, Hick­man shuns the boor­ish in­ten­sity that cloaks ri­vals like Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchin­son. The 30-year-old rev­els in the at­ten­tion he now re­ceives in the road rac­ing pad­dock where he made an in­stant im­pact by set­ting the fastest-ever new­comer’s lap on his TT de­but in 2014.

Hick­man’s rise has been me­te­oric. Plagued by ma­chine prob­lems on the JG Speed­fit Kawasaki last year, he still man­aged to join the ex­clu­sive sev­en­mem­ber 132mph club. His best Se­nior lap of 132.465mph saw him leapfrog es­tab­lished stars like James Hil­lier, Guy Martin, Bruce An­stey and Conor Cum­mins to be­come the fourth fastest TT rider of all-time. The chal­lenge now is to turn that speed into re­sults.

For 2017, the Bur­ton-on-trent rider is back with BMW – the bike he has used to claim his major road rac­ing re­sults so far. Hick­man won the last two Ma­cau Grands Prix on S1000RRS, plus the 2015 Ul­ster GP su­per­bike race. The cut and thrust of three rounds of BSB com- pe­ti­tion will en­sure the 30-year-old ar­rives at the TT race sharp and his re­sults at the re­cent North West 200, de­spite major elec­tron­ics is­sues with the Smith’s BMW, were en­cour­ag­ing.

“We run Motec at BSB but switched to the BMW elec­tron­ics sys­tem for the North West and I just didn’t have the feel I wanted,” he ex­plained.

“I was strong on the brakes and at top speed while the han­dling was also re­ally good but I was los­ing a lot of time get­ting out of the cor­ners as I just couldn’t open the throt­tle and get on the power as I would have liked.” It is un­der­stood the team will re­vert to the Motec sys­tem for the TT and Hick­man is full of con­fi­dence he can at least be on a TT podium this year.

“Podium fin­ishes are my tar­get for this year,” he says. “I did 132.4mph in the Se­nior last year and I think I would have hit 133mph if I had been able to keep run­ning to the end of the race. With it be­ing just my third year at the TT and the first on a su­per­bike that should have been enough to pro­duce a podium. The depth of com­pe­ti­tion in the field and lap speeds are much greater now than they were for Michael Dunlop or Hutchy when they were on the podium ear­lier in their ca­reers,” he said.

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