Author: Bike Social Sports Reporter Posted: 27 Aug 2014
It’s been a rollercoaster year for superbike rider Peter Hickman. At the start of the British Superbike season in April, he had no ride but has gone on to become the fastest ever newcomer in three of the world’s largest road races and now has a British Superbike victory to add to that success.
Hickman won Monday’s second superbike race ahead of Shane Byrne and Tommy Bridewell at a sodden Cadwell Park.
“It’s not sunk in yet, it’s unbelievable!” said Hickman speaking to Bike Social. “I’ve got no words to describe it. It was a mint weekend anyway, we weren’t outside the top seven and showed great race pace in the dry. I was happy with fifth on the grid but I did mess up Barn on my last qualifying lap so I think I could have been front row but that’s how it goes. I was happy with sixth in race one, in iffy conditions we can really capitalise, the bike isn’t the fastest on the grid so when the conditions aren’t perfect I can make some in roads to the others. I felt we had the pace to be on the podium in race one and I was a little bit gutted not to make it.
“Sat on the grid for Race 2 I wasn’t overly confident after the sighting laps so the boys made some changes on the grid and then when I set off for the warm-up lap the bike felt really good. Brookes fell off right in front of me on the mountain, he just slipped off really easily and that knocked a bit of confidence back out of me again. We got a great start and didn’t’ look back! I did Bridewell into turn two and then Shakey at the end of Park Straight and tried my best to make a gap.
“I’d pulled out two seconds at one point and my lap times were consistent so I thought I’d not push any harder but then the gap started closing, it got down to half a second at one point so I had to get my head down again. I stuck in another three or four faster laps dropping my lap time by 0.8 and managed to drop him. I think he had a moment but whatever it was, he backed off and I had a nice comfy lead again! It took forever, especially the last four or five laps but I did my best to chill out and do the same thing each lap.”
After being dropped from the GBmoto outfit at the end of 2013, Hickman was left without a ride for the 2014 season. In March it was announced he’d make his debut at both the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT. After a record breaking North West 200, Hickman rocked up to the TT on a stock S1000RR with the Ice Valley BMW team and walked away with the fastest ever newcomer lap around the 37.73mile mountain course. After a similar performance at the Ulster Grand Prix in the middle of this month, his debut British Superbike victory is without a doubt the icing on top of the cake.
“If at the start of this season someone had told me I’d be taking my first British Superbike win at Cadwell Park I’d have told them to ‘F’ off! What started out to be a year where I didn’t even have a ride has now turned out to be one of my best to date. My championship position in BSB isn’t going to be fantastic as I missed the first few rounds but to get a win is unreal. We went to the North West, fastest ever newcomer then the TT and got fastest ever newcomer there too and I was also the fastest newcomer at the Ulster GP. I got myself back into BSB and we’ve had a good time on the Honda. At Oulton I was eighth on the grid and seventh in the first race, at the last couple of meetings we’ve shown the pace to be in the top six and I think that’s a massive achievement. We’re really punching above our weight, not only with the bike but with the team as well, this is a small family run team, it’s just brilliant.”
Hickman has shown potential in British Superbikes before now, in 2011 aboard the Tyco Honda secured several front row starts and also led the race at Thruxton before finishing on the podium in second place. It hasn’t really gone to plan since then though…
“2011 was my best year to date in British Superbikes and then 2012 was a bit tough with changing teams half way through the year. I managed to get the BMW going quite fast but unfortunately ended up moving back to Honda for 2013. I struggled last year, it was a real mediocre year and there wasn’t much I could do about it but we’ve managed to get this bike going really well. It was really unfortunate circumstances how this ride came about with Simon passing away and I’ve said it before, the whole season is for him really so my win goes out to him.”
After his success on the roads, some thought Hickman would sack off British Superbikes to focus on a career but he says he’s determined to continue in British Superbikes and now he’s got a win under his belt, he’s hoping to find himself on a number of shopping lists for 2015…
“A lot of people have asked me whether I prefer riding the roads or BSB but there isn’t really an answer, I enjoy racing bikes and I enjoy riding bikes, that’s what I want to do. I hope I’ll be in British Superbikes next year and I’ll also do the roads again. We’ve not had many serious talks about where I’ll be riding next year but hopefully after this my phone will start ringing!”