LOUTH superbike rider Peter Hickman has been handed a ride in this weekend’s World Superbike Championship race at Donington.
The 25-year-old who currently races for Kawasaki in the British Superbike series, has been offered the chance to step in for FIXI Crescent Suzuki after their rider John Hopkins broke a bone in his foot and injured his left hip last weekend at Monza in Italy.
The Crescent Suzuki team who sit sixth in the World Superbike rankings, have called on Hickman, who has a free weekend for his Kawasaki team, to plug the gap and draw on his experience of the Leicestershire Track from the British Superbikes.
Hickman’s fans were met with a mysterious Twitter message on Thursday night when he said: “Well I nearly had some very exciting news to tell you all but unfortunately it doesn’t look like its gonna happen...” before later announcing that he would in fact be joining the Suzuki team.
Hickman and the team will be taking to the track this morning (Friday) for the first free practice session, where Hickman will get his first feel of the 180mph monsters.
Along with team mate Leon Camier, the team will then have two qualifying sessions to push for a place in the Superpole, where they will then go for the top grid positions in Sunday’s two races.
Hickman said the weekend would be a ‘steep learning curve’ but was looking forward to the challenge.
“I’m so happy that I’ve got a chance to ride with the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team this weekend,” he said.
“It’s going to be a steep learning curve, but I’ve got nothing to lose, so I’m really looking forward to it.
“I know the track, but I don’t know the bike, so I’ll be spending the first practice getting used to the GSX-R and how it behaves round Donington.
“I’d like to thank everybody in the team for giving me this chance and I really hope that I will not disappoint them.”
Jack Valentine, Team Manager at the FIXI Crescent Suzuki outfit, added: “We’re pleased to be able to give an opportunity to a young British rider - Peter Hickman.
“I was impressed by Peter in BSB last year when he was running at the sharp end for most of the season. It’s a great opportunity for him and I would like to thank the MSS BSB team for allowing him to ride this weekend.”
The first 23-lap World Superbike race is set of a start at noon on Sunday followed by race two at 3.30pm.
Both races will benefit from live television coverage on Eurosport 2.
See the Leader website and the Leader newspaper next week to find out how Hicky fares at Donington.