Norton confirms Peter Hickman for Lightweight race at 2020 Isle of Man TT

Peter Hickman and Norton CEO Stuart Garner.
Peter Hickman and Norton CEO Stuart Garner.
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Peter Hickman will continue his association with Norton at the 2020 Isle of Man TT.

The Smiths Racing rider will compete in the Lightweight race on the Norton 650 Superlight machine for the second year.

Hickman will also ride the bike in the Supertwin races at the North West 200 in May.

Norton CEO Stuart Garner confirmed the news on social media on Wednesday morning, revealing that the 650cc Superlight would be run by the Smiths Racing team.

Hickman said: “It handles really well which is especially important with the lightweight bikes. They don’t have much horsepower so they need to be able to turn properly and the bike did that immediately.

“Of course, there are things we need to change. It’s really heavy – heavier than my Superbike – because it’s still a road bike and a lot has to be done to make it lighter.

Peter Hickman on the Norton 650 Superlight in last year's Lightweight TT.

Peter Hickman on the Norton 650 Superlight in last year's Lightweight TT.

"I think the podium is realistic and the win would be the cherry on top. I don’t go into anything thinking that we can hopefully finish sixth. The reason we’re doing this is because I feel the bike has potential. If I didn’t feel that, I wouldn’t be doing it.”

Norton boss Garner wrote on Twitter: “Pleasure to continue working with Peter Hickman and Norton 650 Superlight.

“We’ve partnered with Smiths Racing for the 2020 Lightweight TT. They’re the best at what they do and leaves us to focus on road bike production in a busy 2020.”

The new Norton Superlight made its road racing debut this year at the Norton West 200, where John McGuinness rode the machine.

McGuinness, Hickman and Davey Todd formed a three-man Norton team for the Lightweight TT, when Hickman was the only finisher, sealing a solid eighth place.

Hickman and the Smiths Racing team will be BMW Motorrad’s official international road racing representatives in 2020, taking over the status from Northern Ireland’s TAS Racing team.

The British Superbike contender had a fantastic season this year, taking victory on the new S1000RR in the Superstock race at the North West 200 and claiming a hat-trick at the TT, securing wins in the Superbike, Superstock and Supersport classes.

Hickman also set a new record of seven wins from seven starts at the Ulster Grand Prix and established a road racing world lap record of 136.415mph at Dundrod.