British Superbike 1-2 boosts Peter Hickman for Dundrod Ulster Grand Prix
Peter Hickman comes into this week’s MCE Ulster Grand Prix on the crest of a wave following first and second place finishes on the Smiths BMW during yesterday’s British Superbike Championship races at the high-speed Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire, results that propel him into third position in the series.
Linclonshire based Hickman has the Dundrod lap record of 134.089mph, set last year by Ian Hutchinson, in his sights this week with practice and qualifying at Dundrod getting underway on Wednesday.
The 30-year old rider has been in superb form this season, taking five podiums from five races at the TT in June and is now proving himself amongst the best BSB riders in the paddock.
Hickman said of his Dundrod bid: “It all depends on the conditions, but if we can have a good couple of practice days and get to Saturday with some good laps under our belt, then I don’t see why we can’t push it up to maybe 135 or 136mph, I definitely think we can go faster than 134mph.”
Hickman scored his first international race win at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix in 2015 in just his second year at the world’s fastest road race.
“It would be great to have a lap record around a road circuit apart from my newcomer record at the TT,” the 30-year old said.
“It’s been a really strong year, the Smiths BMW has been working well and we’ve managed to find a sweet spot with it, which makes life a lot easier.
“I’m expecting there to be a few of us at the front and hopefully we’ll put on some good racing for the fans. Dean Harrison, Michael Dunlop, Dan Kneen, Bruce Anstey and Conor Cummins should all be in the mix.”
Of the 7.4mile Dundrod Circuit Hickman added: “It is just an untouched, proper circuit, just as it should be. It’s fast, flowing, it hasn’t had to be adapted with chicanes to try and make it safer. It is already as safe as you can make a road race even though it is ridiculously fast.
“It is such a good circuit to race around and it makes me smile from the second I go out. I enjoy racing both the roads and BSB, I’m fast doing both which is why I get so much excitement from both. For me it is just about riding bikes as much as possible.”
Dundrod clerk of the course Noel Johnston said: “Hicky is on superb form this year and let’s not forget he was the fastest ever man through our speed trap last year at 199.8mph.
“He’s just a real natural talent and the beauty of it is that despite how well he’s riding at the moment, I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet.”