Ulster GP: Peter Hickman aiming to shine on big stage again

Peter Hickman on the Smiths BMW at Lougher's in qualifying for the MCE Ulster Grand Prix.
Peter Hickman on the Smiths BMW at Lougher's in qualifying for the MCE Ulster Grand Prix.

Peter Hickman is ready to stake his claim for a coveted Superbike victory at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix after he was narrowly denied by Bruce Anstey in 2017.

The Smiths BMW rider lost out by only 0.2 seconds to the ‘Flying Kiwi’ in the feature race, who hasn’t competed this year due to illness.

Hickman did win the Dundrod 150 Superbike race last summer, but the Senior TT winner will have his sights set on a bona fide UGP triumph on his BMW S1000RR.

The 31-year-old handed the title of the ‘world’s fastest road race’ to the TT as he broke through the 135mph barrier to win the Senior on the final lap in June.

Hickman may have limited the number of laps he completed on his Superbike in qualifying at Dundrod, but the Burton-on-Trent man exudes a quiet confidence.

“We’re third on the grid for the Superbike races but we only actually did six laps on the Superbike, and that’s a lot less lap than most of the other boys managed,” said Hickman, who won the Superstock race and both Supersport events last year.

“Everything is working good because we had a really good setting from last year so fingers crossed for the weather and we’ll see where we end up.

“I’ve actually done the most on the Supersport bike because I actually need more laps on that to go fast, but I’m happy with the big bikes and I’m fast pretty much straight away.”

Hickman lapped at 132.725mph to clinch a front row start for the Superbike races behind Conor Cummins (134.138mph) and Dean Harrison (133.531mph).

He was second quickest in the Superstock class at 132.353mph and will line up in fourth place on the Trooper Beer Smiths Triumph.