Louth rider Peter Hickman set for Australia challenge

Peter Hickman is heading to Australia once again as he bids to help Great Britain win the Phillip Island Classic for a fourth straight year.

The Louth rider will join Glen Richards, captain Jeremy McWilliams, Lee Johnston, Michael Rutter and Louth-based Honda rider Dan Linfoot in the GB team which will race against Australia, the United States, New Zealand and Ireland.

Hickman will be riding for a second year at the event on a 1984 Harris-framed SJ1300 Yamaha, and said: “It is a really big event which I went to last year for the first time.

“The Phillip Island circuit is amazing and I really enjoy it.

“There is always a huge crowd of spectators, around 40,000, so it’s really well-supported.

“The bike is a beast. It weighs around 400 kilos, doesn’t go round corners, doesn’t stop, but it is really fast.

“I clocked over 170mph over the start line last year which is cracking on some, especially when it doesn’t stop.

“The bike is owned by Roger Winfield who is running six of us out there, so it’s a really big concern for him.

“He puts a lot of his own personal money into it and is a really enthusiastic guy who loves his bikes and loves his classic racing.”

Hickman will contest two races on Saturday, January 27, and two more the next day with the aggregate score of each team member going towards the overall result.

The Lincolnshire ace was a special guest at the annual Spalding Bike show last weekend where he spoke about his achievements last year in his best-ever season.

He said: “Last year was really good for me. I finished the British Superbike showdown in fourth place overall and was very close to the top three.

“Road racing wise, apart from the North West 200 being a little bit average, every other event we were on the podium.

“I did five races at the TT and was on the podium in every race, and apparently the only other person to achieve this was Ian Hutchinson who won all five races a few years ago, so that was nice.

“Then we went over to the Ulster and won basically everything there and then a second at Macau, so it’s been a really strong year for me all round.

“I am lucky to be racing in such a good, family-run team as Smiths Racing and it’s nice to be able to repay them by giving them such good results.

“When it came to this year I had no hesitation in signing for them again.

“I am looking forward to testing the Smiths Racing BMW at the beginning of March in Spain in preparation for the new season which kicks off at Donington Park over Easter.”