Hickman ready for fresh start

New signing! Peter Hickman with Rebecca Smith.
New signing! Peter Hickman with Rebecca Smith.

Motorcycle racer Peter Hickman is itching to get back on track as the British Superbikes Championship gets under way this weekend.

The Louth ace will be in action at Leicestershire’s Donington Park circuit from Friday through to Sunday where he paid a visit for the pre-season test day last week.

Peter Hickman.

Peter Hickman.

This year he has switched both team and manufacturer to ride for Smiths BMW, but with heavy rain and chilly conditions he opted out of a ride around the circuit on Wednesday at the test day.

He said: “We have done a substantial amount of testing out in Spain pre-season so to go out in such tricky conditions at Donington just wasn’t worth the risk.

“I could see no point in getting wet through and, with the possibility of a crash foremost on my mind, I decided to sit it out.

“But I was happy to attend and meet the fans who had turned out on such a dreadful day to see the riders, and we also had a photoshoot to do for the British Superbike class of 2017, so it wasn’t a wasted day.”

Shortly after leaving Donington Park, Hicky made for the airport to fly over to the Isle of Man for the press launch of the TT races, which took place last Thursday evening.

Some of the top road racers in the world took part in a question and answer event plus a photoshoot.

On his return, Hickman made final preparations for his debut on the Smiths BMW at Donington Park, where he has high expectations for the opening two races of the 2017 championship.

Last season he picked up the prestigious Riders Cup which is awarded to the highest-placed rider outside the Superbike shoot-out.

The provisional timetable for the weekend is – Friday, March 31: Free practice one 1pm. Free practice two 4.15pm; Saturday, April 1: free practice three 10.50am. Qualifying 4.02pm; Sunday, April 2: morning warm-up 9.30am. Race one (20 laps) 1.30pm. Race two (20 laps) 4.30pm.

Both races are live on British Eurosport 2.