Macchina Client, Peter Hickman, took victory during the 2019 International North West 200 on his Smiths Racing BMW S1000RR Superstock.
The louth-based rider shone under beautiful conditions during practice week. Standing out on the all new BMW S1000RR Superstock. The Stock bike had never turned a wheel on track before so all BMW teams were keen to see how it faired ahead of the Isle of Man TT next week.
During practice and qualifying Hickman adopted his ‘steady away’ approach which gave him pole position for Thursdays Superstock race. However he opened up the stock bike for one full lap and pulled a huge lead from the rest of the qualifying field.
The victory nearly didn’t happen though as during Thursday evening’s opening Supersport race, a stone shot through the radiator of the K2 Trooper Triumph. Peter was forced to retire and was left waiting for a lift from organisers back to the start line. His P1 spot sat empty and Hickman made the start by less than a second.
Glen Irwin managed to jump him on the start. However at York Roundabout, Hickman slipped past and took the lead on the run down to University. Over the 6 laps, he managed to pull clear and the rest of the field couldn’t reel him back. He crossed the line to take the win, ahead of Glenn Irwin and Michael Dunlop.
Sunday’s racing saw a 6 hour delay to the opening Supersport race and three restarts due to bad conditions. Hickman and Smiths Racing took the decision that the conditions were too dangerous and retired from race one. With the weather clearing slightly in the afternoon, Smiths decided to test the track for the Superstock race. The team made the decision if the track wasn’t suitable for dry tyres they wouldn’t race.
Hickman completed one lap on dry tyres and decided the conditions weren’t fit for the Smiths Racing team or himself. He withdrew from the days racing in preparation for the British Superbike Championship and Isle of Man TT.
Hickman “It’s been a week of highs and lows. I was disappointed after the Supersport race when we had a stone go through the radiator as I felt I had the pace to finish on the podium. The Superstock win more than made up for that. The bike hadn’t turned a wheel before Tuesday so I’ve had no time on the bike so to take a win first time out is full credit to BMW and the Smiths Racing team. The boys tried to keep me at bay initially but I soon got to the front and from that moment on, I just put my head down and tried to get away. I felt really strong along the coast road and once I’d managed to break away, I managed the race from there. It’s a good sign for the TT races and I am happy. Unfortunately, on Saturday, myself and the Smiths Racing team decided to call it a day. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement but I tried. I made the first 2 starts for the Supersport race but after 3 separate incidents at the same corner and witnessing 2 near incidents right in front of me at that very same corner again we felt on safety grounds that it’s just too risky. We went out for the Superstock race as the track had dried a lot but after one lap I felt the conditions weren’t safe enough after having a few moments. It’s a real shame but safety is the most important for us all. I’m sorry to all the fans out there, I wanted to put on a good show for you but it’s just not possible today. I hope you all understand our decision”
Hickman now heads to Donington Park where he will contest three races at round three of the 2019 British Superbike championship this weekend. Then straight to the 2019 Isle of Man TT to defend his title as The Fastest Road Racer on Earth.