From BSB to TT to WorldSBK, Hickman makes his mark on BMW sub showing

Peter HIckman demonstrates his sheer versatility as a racer once again with a star turn on his surprise World Superbike Championship call up with BMW.
From BSB to TT to WorldSBK, Hickman makes his mark on BMW sub showing

Peter Hickman says he is hoping for more WorldSBK opportunities in the future after turning heads with his competitive performance on the back of a late call up to ride for the factory BMW team at Donington Park.

Intimate knowledge of Donington Park and the BMW S1000RR base he races in BSB aside, Hickman should have faced an uphill challenge after being approached to replace the unwell Markus Reiterberger the day before track action.

Nonetheless, Hickman acquitted himself well on the unfamiliar electronics-laden machine in practice before bring his experience to the fore by qualifying a superb fourth in the evolving wet to dry conditions of Superpole.

Consolidating that performance in the treacherously wet race, Hickman went on to secure a solid seventh place, which combined with team-mate Tom Sykes’ second place finish is now BMW’s best overall result of the year so far.

“I’m happy enough. The race was the first time for me to ride the bike in fully wet conditions so it has been a little bit of an unknown for me. It was also different for me to get used to the electronics again. I’m happy that I came away with a good and solid top ten result.”

However, Hickman would suffer disappointment in the Superpole Race when his BMW expired in spectacular fashion on the way to the Melbourne Loop, causing chaos for those behind as they crashed on his spent oil. This also included Sykes on the cool down lap, meaning he’d be controversially classified as a DNF.

Finishing 11th in the second and final race of the weekend, though Hickman was disappointed with the result itself, he was otherwise pleased with his performance on such short notice as a whole.

"I’m a bit disappointed to be outside the top ten, to be honest. I felt I had some pace to be inside the top ten. But I did not quite have the grip in the final race compared to what we had earlier in the day and yesterday.

“Maybe the track temperature went a bit up but because of what had happened in the Superpole Race, we did not have the time to make changes on the bike for race two basing on what we had learned in the first race. But it’s the way it goes. I’ve had a good weekend, I enjoyed myself and learned some stuff.

“The team has been fantastic, really thanks to Smiths Racing BMW for allowing me to compete here and to Dunlop UK for allowing me to drop their weekend to come here. I hope to get some opportunity like this again sometime in the future.”

It hasn’t been confirmed as yet whether Reiterberger will be fit in time for a return at this weekend’s Laguna Seca USA WorldSBK round, or whether Hickman – or another rider – could be on standby to compete.