Peter Hickman swaps Norton for Aprilia ahead of 2022 Supertwins TT tilt

Peter Hickman won't race his Norton in the 2022 Isle of Man TT Supertwins class after deciding to run the more proven Aprilia RS 660 package

Peter Hickman - Norton

Peter Hickman’s preparations for the 2022 Isle of Man TT have been disrupted by a late change of heart to run an Aprilia RS 660 in the Supertwins class, while he has been forced out of the North West 200 Supersport race altogether.

The hot favourite heading into this year’s blue riband TT road racing festival - the first to be held since 2019 due to COVID - Hickman had planned to enter six races on the Manx island, running the FHO Racing BMW M 1000 RR in the two Superbike races and in Superstock configuration, the faired Triumph Street Triple 765 RS in Supersport and the Norton Superlight in the Supertwins class.

Of these, however, the latter effort represented the biggest challenge for Hickman. The Briton purchased the machine direct from Norton after competing as a factory-backed racer in 2019 while it was under its Stuart Garner-helmed erstwhile management.

Finishing eighth despite minimal pre-event running, Hickman took on development via his own PHR (Peter Hickman Racing) effort after Norton skirted with collapse prior to its rescue from Indian firm TVS.

Investing upwards of £30,000 on the machine, Hickman had hoped he’d get to race the upgraded model in the Supertwins TT class for 2022. 

However, after organisers stipulated it wasn’t eligible unless 30 units of the now discontinued model could be made available, though Hickman flirted with the idea of making them to order in an effort to find a loophole in the decision, he has instead opted for a late change to Aprilia machinery instead.

Triumph eligible for TT, not for North West 200

It is the second expensive set back for Hickman in recent weeks after organisers for the North West 200 refused to accept his 765cc triple-cylinder Triumph for the Supersport class.

Hickman purchased the ex-British Supersport machine under the assumption the North West 200 would revert to the ‘Next Generation’ Supersport rules adopted in WorldSSP, MotoAmerica and even the TT to allow models with up to 960cc engines.

However, North West 200 have instead retained the same rules as previous years, meaning Hickman won’t be able to run the machine in that event but can do so at the TT two weeks later.