Louth racer Hickman set for Aussie challenge

Louth racer Peter Hickman is to join the British Classic Motorcycle Racing Team to contest the Phillip Island Classic races in Australia in January.

2016 was a pivotal season for Louth rider Peter Hickman EMN-161228-140732002

The double Macau GP champion and British Superbike Riders Cup winner will take part in the southern hemisphere’s largest historic motorcycle meet at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

The 24th Australian Motorcycle News International Island Classic, held over January’s Australia Day long weekend from January 27 to 29, will see the fiercely-contested International Challenge along with a points score challenge for the Phil Irving Trophy.

It will be a first for the 29-year-old Lincolnshire ace with his maiden trip to Australia and a first chance to race on the technical Phillip Island course.

“It was John McGuinness who put me forward for the ride, as he thought I would be a good fit for the team,” explained Hickman, who won’t see his Harris Yamaha for the first time until he gets Down Under.

Hicky is not unduly worried about the task in hand and is excited to get to the circuit and get on board the Harris Yamaha for some practice ahead of the official practice and qualifying.

“I realise it is not going to be easy, but I pick things up pretty quickly so I don’t think it’ll be too much of a problem,” he added.

“I’m definitely feeling confident in myself and my riding,”

Hickman will ride alongside Conor Cummings, John McGuinness, Glen Richards, Jeremy McWilliams, Alex Sinclair, Michael Neeves and James Hillier, while 58-year-old Keith Higgs will be the team captain.

Last year was a turning point for the ambitious rider who won races at Silverstone and Brands Hatch in the British Superbike Championship and completed the season in seventh to lift the riders cup with 233 championship points.

But the Louth rider has been left without a ride for 2017 after a decision by his Kawasaki team to withdraw from British Superbikes.

An announcement is expected early in the new year regarding his plans for both BSB and the roads.