Gloucester-based Smiths Racing BMW have confirmed that they have signed 29-year-old Peter Hickman to contest the 2017 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy and the other international road races. Hickman, from Louth in Lincolnshire, will also represent the team in the MCE BSB Series alongside Lee Jackson, riding the Smiths Racing BMW S1000RRs.
The former TT winners and double British Supersport champions endured a difficult season in 2016 due to a number of factors and over the winter months, Team Manager Rebecca Smith has considered their options carefully.
Rebecca Smith, Team Manager:
“There’s no doubting 2016 was a very difficult season for us all at Smiths Racing and although everyone gave 100%, the results just didn’t come. This year, we are taking a slightly different approach with the help of the factory and we now feel we are in a position to challenge much higher up the leaderboard. Both Lee and Peter bring a wealth of BMW experience to the team and both are established BSB riders whilst we are equally delighted to be making a return to the roads with Peter.”
Hickman made his TT debut in 2014 for the Ice Valley BMW team, taking a best finish of eighth in the RL360 Superstock race while he also won silver replicas for 11th place in the PokerStars Senior race and 14th in the RST Superbike. His results saw him win the prestigious Newcomers Trophy and his fastest lap of 129.104mph remains the fastest ever lap recorded by a Mountain Course newcomer.
Continuing with BMW machinery in 2015, this time for Lee Hardy Racing, Hickman took fifth in the RL350 Superstock race, seventh in the PokerStars Senior and eighth in the RST Superbike Race to win three more silver replicas, improving his best lap to 131.626mph in the process.
A switch to the GBMoto Kawasaki team in 2016 saw him take an excellent fourth place in the RST Superbike race where he lapped at 132.465mph to become the fourth fastest rider of all time.
Hickman, from Louth, also won two MCE BSB races last season on his way to winning the Rider’s Cup title as well as taking victory at the Ulster Grand Prix and defending his Macau Grand Prix title. Very much in demand as one of the sport’s great all-rounders, Peter returns to the BMW marque with which he’s enjoyed so much success in the past.
“I have another new challenge to look forward to again this season and I’m relishing it aboard the Smiths Racing BMW. All the dealings I’ve had with the team so far have been fantastic and they are very easy to work with. I know the BMW well having ridden it in the past and we’ve been promised the right support from the factory in Germany, which will make a difference. I’m pleased to be bringing my own crew into the team which is a massive bonus so I’m really looking forward to the season in both BSB and on the roads with Smiths Racing.”