Author: Bike Social Sports Reporter Posted: 07 Jun 2014
Peter Hickman rode straight into the history books in yesterday’s Pokerstars Senior TT race as he notched up a lap of 129.104mph to become the fastest TT newcomer ever.
It was an incredible two weeks for Hickman on the island, making marked progression each time he took to the 37.73 mountain course. The Lincolnshire rider set a fastest lap of 126.195mph in Saturday’s Dainese Superbike race before going on to finish an impressive eighth in the Royal London 360 Superstock battle on Wednesday.
A few heads turned when Hickman recorded a 126.9mph average speed on the first lap of the Senior race from a standing start and when his first flier on lap two was at 127.6mph it was only a matter of time before Hickman would beat Brookes’ fastest newcomer lap of 127.7mph from 2013.
What wasn’t expected was that the twenty five year would obliterate Brookes’ lap by over 1.3mph. Hickman’s strong final lap saw him cross the line in eleventh place concluding a fantastic debut roads campaign for the BMW rider.
“I don’t know how I did it! A lot of homework and by being a fast learner think” said Hickman, talking to Bike Social the morning after the night before.
“I came over to the Island so many times before the TT and I really wanted the course to feel like the road to work. I wanted to know it off by heart. I did so many laps in a hire car and watched a lot of DVDs so I did actually know at least where the circuit went by the time I turned up, which I did. Things change a bit on the bike but I never got lost or thought ‘what’s next’, I knew where I should be the majority of the time straight away and I can only put this down to the homework and this has helped my progression over the week.”
Throughout the week, Hickman was keen to emphasise that he wasn’t pushing on the island, but trying to take it easy and find his way around. He says that even though he was fast, he was comfortable and riding well within his capabilities.
“I was riding fast, I mean to do a 129mph average speed you’ve got to ride fast but I was really comfortable. All week I haven’t made any mistakes, I’ve run deep into a couple of turns but by a couple of metres, nothing too much, I’ve not hit any curbs or even been near any curbs either. I didn’t feel like I was pushing, I felt I was well within my capabilities for the entire lap. I could have gone faster really, there were lots of places where I was rolling off where I didn’t really have to! There’s a lot more to come.”
Riding for the Ice Valley BMW team, Hickman had just one bike with him on the island – a superstock spec BMW S 1000 RR. The only change he’d make for the Superbike and Senior races would be to run slick tyres. Josh Brookes’ 2013 newcomers record was set on a Tyco Suzuki GSXR-1000 Superbike.
“I’ve gone a lot faster than what I expected and we’re on a Superstock spec bike as well so I never expected to beat Brookes’ lap from last year so to actually do that it’s awesome. I’ve loved my time on the roads from the North West through to the TT. It’s been great fun and the bike has been mint.”
Having thoroughly enjoyed his time on the roads, Hickman says he’ll definitely be back next year and hopes his performance will help in securing a strong ride for not just the 2015 roads campaign, but also the remainder of this year’s British Superbike season for which he is without a ride for the first time since 2009.
“I will be back next year. I’m not so interested in the smaller road races but the big internationals, the North West, the TT and hopefully Macau which we’ll do later this year. I’ve not had people knocking on the door just yet but I think a few people have taken notice. I hope the results here might do us a favour in getting a BSB ride sorted for the rest of the season, but I don’t really know!”