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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > 353 - June 2019 > ZERO TO ZERO

ZERO TO ZERO

We sat down with TT lap record holder, BSB title contender and all-round good guy Peter Hickman to talk past troubles, what the future holds and how he s shaping up for another record-breaking year…
WORDS: CARLOS, IMAGES: MACCHINA MEDIA/AMANDA LEEMING/LAP CONCEPTS/FB ARCHIVE

Unless you were living under a rock, on the moon, or in a faraway galaxy, there was absolutely no ignoring the fact that 2018 was a monumentally successful year for the big lad from Lincolnshire. I mean, let’s just push that 135.492mph TT lap aside for the moment; yeah, he has the fastest average speed for a road race ever recorded on two wheels, but that’s just scratching the surface. Hicky managed a win at every international road race, from the North West 200 all the way through to Macau, alongside winning in BSB and ending up in the Showdown… all whilst dabbling in the World Endurance scene for good measure. Now that’s not too shabby for one season, is it? And it’s fair to say that this kind of result was definitely on the cards leading up to 2018, which is all the more impressive considering the rocky road Hicky’s endured along the way. So, with all this, and after winning one of the greatest road racing duels of the current era in last year’s Senior, I don’t think you lot will mind us putting him amongst the all-time greats of the scene.

But even so, how is he as an actual bloke? Fame and success can turn a lot of people, but thankfully, Hicky is the same old affable gent he’s always been, and sitting down one on one with him only solidified our respect for the Smiths BMW throttle jockey. This meant that the first thing on the agenda was to get word from the man himself, and see if he could’ve ever imagined last year turning out the way it did – and how he built up to it through the years?

“I always hoped it would! Ever since I turned up on the roads, the competition has been the fiercest it ever has been in my opinion – if I’d have turned up five years earlier things would’ve been a lot easier. It’s difficult as every year riders get better, bikes get better, tyres get better – it’s always improving and that’s the trend. I always go in thinking I can win this, but I never go in expecting it, rather just build up to the pace, give it my all and whatever happens, happens. Up until last year we hadn’t had the greatest results, even though I felt the form was there: I did a 129mph in 2013 (the first year) which I was pretty happy with – I mean, it put me as the 19th fastest rider ever. The second year when I went back out, I nearly managed 132mph, but I only took the stocker with me – not even on a superbike! I was pleased with that, as at the time that was a quick lap on one of those things, and nearly had a podium as well, but I ran out of fuel on the final lap. Year three I did 132.4mph on the superbike, but we had a load of problems with the machine – like even in the race I had a faulty tyre valve, and the superbike had an electrical problem, which meant I only did three laps on it in practice. On race day we had to change the whole electronics package for it the night before the race! When I sat on it heading down Bray Hill that year, I’d never ridden the engine or electronics package combination. I managed to finish fourth and become the fourth fastest rider ever with a 132.4mph lap, and I’d done less than ten laps on a superbike round the place! Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, in the Senior, I was running in third when we had an engine failure – but it’s always, a should’ve, would’ve, could’ve.

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About Fast Bikes

Welcome to Fast Bikes Magazine In this issue: Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory Launch Boothy went to Mugello to sample the delights of Aprilia’s new winged wonder. Sensible Sportsbikes Beano has been commuting on Ducati’s Supersport S and Suzuki’s GSX-S1000F. Triumph 765 on track We aren’t allowed to call it a Daytona 765… but everyone is. And much more!