Peter Hickman Interview
We grabbed one of British Superbike's rising stars for a chat
As it’s a superbike special this month, we thought what better way to celebrate that than to interview one of the British Superbike Championship’s (BSB) rising super stars Peter Hickman.
The guy is on an upward spiral. Last week he won the Thruxton BSB Championship, then the Dundred 150 on Thursday, as well as two Supersport races on Saturday. He just doesn’t stop! And amidst all that, he had the time to chat to Danni Bagnall about why he does what he does and how the superbike racing scene has changed since he got into it.
So, who are you? (For those that don’t know, of course).
Good question. Haha. I race motorbikes professionally. Currently, I’m with the Smiths BMW Racing Team competing in the BSB Championship, the Northwest 200, Isle of Man TT, Ulster Grand Prix and Macau Grand Prix.
As if we have to ask, but what is it you love about your job?
I have always wanted to race on two wheels. It’s just in the blood. My dad was a professional racer, but retired due to injury. Soon after he continued in the sport as a development engineer and head mechanic. So, naturally, I was around it a lot when I was a kid. It’s funny, though, because he didn’t actually want me racing. He’d much preferred me to take up something low risk and high earning – two things that professional motorbike racing is not. I love what I do, though – the thrill and adrenaline involved is incomparable.
How’s 2017 looking for you so far?
It’s been brilliant. The year kicked off strong, with a 4th and 8th at round one of the BSB Championship. Last week I won the Thruxton BSB Championship, the Dundred 150 on Thursday, and two Supersport races on Saturday. As for road racing; we took four podiums at this year’s Isle of Man TT, as well as a podium in the lightweight class with KMR IEG Kawasaki. Making my TT five races and five podiums.
How has the racing scene changed since you first started?
My first ever British championship race was in 2004. Between then and now, the risks are pretty much the same, but the circuits are constantly improving and the kit has definitely improved safety wise. As far as the championship is concerned, the organisation is definitely better than it was 10-15 years ago. Back in 2004, most of the riders in the actual main superbike championship were paid and probably paid quite highly, but wages are not what they used to be. Most riders in the championship are not being paid at all. There’s also no prize money for BSB races. Hasn’t been now for a long time, to be fair. It’s just the way it is, with how the world’s gone. Regulations wise, the BSB is definitely the best domestic superbike championship in the world. No rider aids; no traction control etc. It’s levelled the playing field out massively. Meaning smaller teams can truly compete. Everyone can build a bike that’s capable of winning. Proven especially at the last BSB round that privateer teams can finish on the podium, which is a real testament to the championship. Everyone is always trying to work out the small advantages to get the edge. If people move around teams then your secrets always get out so you have to keep on top of it, if you can. It’s the nature of the sport and what we all like about it.
What’s your most memorable moment so far in your career?
I would definitely say the five TT podiums from this year would be high up on the list. There’s been loads. It’s hard to choose just one. Winning the BSB at my home track Cadwell Park was pretty incredible, too. There’s always something else in addition to winning when it’s your home track. Home fans jeering you on is the best feeling.
Some mega achievements there, Peter. How do you see it continuing?
Well, I love what I do, so future plans are definitely to just keep racing. Keep getting better. And keep trying to find those little things that make you faster or better on track.
Cheers for your time, we’ll let you get some rest!
Images: Weise Clothing
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