Monday - 3pm: LOUTH rider Peter Hickman has been sacked by his racing team MSS Bathams Kawasaki with immediate effect due to a ‘void agreement’.
The 25-year-old superbike rider, who had been racing for the Kawasaki team in the British Superbike Championships, stepped in to the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team for their World Superbike Race at Donington Park on Sunday, finishing ninth.
But a statement from MSS Kawasaki today (Monday) has confirmed Hickman has left.
It said: “Following his decision to ride a rival manufacturer’s machine at the Donington Park World Superbike event, Peter Hickman has breached his agreement with MSS Bathams Kawasaki.
“Neither the team or Kawasaki Motors UK agreed to release the rider and the decision has been made to dispense with his services with immediate effect.”
Nick Morgan Team Manager of MSS Bathams Kawasaki, added: “I have always believed that an agreement – whether in written form or even a handshake between two parties – is binding and, in my opinion, implies a high degree of mutual respect. In breaking this, we regard our agreement as void.
“We will now actively look for a replacement rider to compete alongside Michael Rutter to continue to give the Ninja ZX-10R good results and exposure. As a team we wish Peter every success for the future.”
As reported by the Leader website, Hickman grabbed an impressive ninth place at Donington Park after avoiding a huge crash on the final lap.
He had said he had enjoyed riding a ‘brilliant bike’ and thanked the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team for giving him the chance.
Controversy had begun on Friday though after his Kawasaki team asserted that Hickman had not been released to ride for a ‘rival manufacturer’ and had made the decision ‘of his own volition’.
Hickman only joined the Colchester-based MSS Kawasaki team in February alongside Michael Rutter after spending 2011 with Quay Honda, scoring nine points so far this campaign.
Paul Denning, Team Principle at Crescent Suzuki WSBK, told the Leader: “As Crescent, we can say that we are very disappointed by the decision of MSS which – given our understanding of the lack of any written agreement and any reimbursement whatsoever for Hickman’s services in BSB – seems excessively harsh.
“It would also appear to be counter productive to their own chances in BSB, given the superb potential shown by Hickman at Donington Park this last weekend.
More to follow.