BE Racing owner John Burrows backing Peter Hickman to show his quality
British Superbike star Peter Hickman could well be the man to dethrone reigning Vauxhall International North West 200 king Alastair Seeley at this year’s May showpiece in the Superbike class, aboard a factory-backed JG Speedfit ZX-10R Kawasaki.
Last year’s Ulster and Manx Grand Prix Superbike winner is also likely to ride a Supertwin for local team Cookstown B.E Racing, which is a major coup for team owner John Burrows.
Burrows said: “I have two Supertwins and one is committed to our new signing Malachi Mitchell-Thomas — I think the lad could shock a few at the North West. I’ll have to decide where the second bike is going very soon. I have to be honest and say it’s looking like Peter.”
Hickman is one of the hottest new properties on the road racing scene.
The 28-year-old from Burton-upon-Trent won last year’s Ulster Grand Prix Superbike race aboard a Briggs Equipment/RAF Reserves BMW in production trim, but has since switched to factory Kawasaki machinery for an assault on the British Superbike Championship.
Hickman made his debut at the Isle of Man TT in 2014, taking the title as fastest ever newcomer in the process when he obliterated the previous best set by reigning British Superbike champion Josh Brookes.
His phenomenal new record lap of 129.104mph came in the coveted six-lap Senior TT, and he said afterwards: “I was really comfortable. I made no mistakes and I could have gone faster!”
Despite the North West 200 Superbike class topping Hickman’s to do list on May 14, where he will come up against his old RAF Reserves BMW team with 15-time winner Seeley in the saddle, Burrows is just delighted to be getting a slice of the action.
“I’ve been really impressed with Peter Hickman since he came into road racing and I almost had him ride our Supersport Honda at last year’s Ulster GP, but he opted for another ride.
“However, I’ve got my man this time,” was a line that almost guarantees Hickman’s participation on a Cookstown B.E Racing ER-6 Kawasaki at the Triangle, which he will also campaign at this year’s Isle of Man TT for Burrows’ team.
“As soon as Peter showed an interest I had no hesitation and I’m delighted he has signed to do the Lightweight TT. He’s a potential winner of the race and whatever the result, he will be a great ambassador for the team.”
Not sure yet whether the deal will include the North West 200, Hickman, who recorded three British Superbike podiums last season, said: “I think the Cookstown Burrows’ Engineering Kawasaki and I will be a strong combination, one that can get close to the rostrum if not on it.
“Of course the Supertwin will be new to me but it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to and I’ll also welcome the extra track time it will give me, hopefully at both events.”