Isle of Man TT star Peter Hickman underpins potential of new BMW at Cadwell Park
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Hickman, who is the outright lap record holder around the TT Mountain Course at 135.452mph set on his way to glory in a memorable 2018 Senior, was cruelly denied a dream treble when he lost the rear of the FHO Racing machine on the last lap of the final race, allowing Jason O’Halloran through to seize a somewhat fortuitous victory.
Nonetheless, it was a magnificent weekend for Hickman, who is up to fifth in the Showdown standings after a big points swing at his home circuit in Lincolnshire.
The 34-year-old has been absent from the road racing scene since the Macau Grand Prix in November 2019, with events such as the North West 200, TT and the Ulster Grand Prix cancelled in 2020 and again this year.
Hickman, though, has been getting plenty of racing action under his belt in BSB and his standout performance last weekend at Cadwell comes after fellow road racing star and TT rival Dean Harrison clinched his best ever result at Donington Park National, where he finished eighth on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki in race three.
A delighted Hickman said: “It is mega feeling to win. We have had a bad run of luck and that first race was perfect. I knew I had the pace as the FHO Racing BMW has been fantastic.
“It was pretty much a perfect race in the end. I saw Jason and Glenn (Irwin) making some moves to start with but I felt I had more pace than they did, so I just settled in at the start. I managed to pull a clean move on Jason at Mansfield, which is always tricky there. I then needed to get Glenn and fortunately, he made a mistake, so I was able to take advantage at Barn and that gave me what I needed.
“This is such a tough track, so it feels even better to win,” added Hickman. “I had to keep my concentration and not make any mistakes, so to be leading until the chequered flag felt like an eternity.
“I am so happy for Faye (Ho, team owner), and to get our first win here for the team at their home round was great. It is only our first season, and with fans all the way around the circuit, it made it even more special. It was an awesome first race day.”
Hickman was naturally disappointed to miss out on the hat-trick after the rear of his BMW stepped up at well over 120mph, but he was also relieved to bring the bike home in a strong second place.
“To say I am disappointed to have not made it a hat trick would be an understatement, but it was my only mistake all weekend,” he said.
“It cost me the race, so that was frustrating but I am pleased I was able to save it, as the rear came right around at 120-140mph. That gave Jason the chance and I thought about having a lunge back, but I just wasn’t close enough.
“Two wins and a second place, plus Milwaukee King of the Mountain, so I am really pleased with a fantastic weekend for the FHO Racing BMW team as that is a big point’s haul for the championship.”
It’s all about the British Superbike Championship for Hickman and the FHO Racing team for now, but the English ace will be a formidable proposition on the new BMW when the major road races swing round again in 2022.
On his last appearance in Northern Ireland at the Ulster Grand Prix in August 2019, Hickman won a record seven races from seven starts, and also set a new world road racing lap record at 136.415mph at Dundrod in a dominant display.
He also won the opening Superstock race at the North West 200 on the Smiths BMW and sealed a treble at the TT with victories in the Superbike, second Supersport and Superstock events.
Hickman was then on course for a four-timer in the Senior until he developed an issue with his machine, causing him to drop back to second place as Dean Harrison clinched a maiden victory in the blue riband race.