Smiths BMW’s Peter Hickman will start the MCE British Superbike season with a different manufacturer, new team and with that he changes from Kawasaki machinery to the S1000RR. But even with the significant changes top six finishes in all the race meetings is the aim for the rider.
The road racing star is no stranger to BMW power, but for this year’s BSB championship his bike will run Ohlins suspension, and Smiths Racing are the first team to run Ohlins on the S1000RR in British Superbikes.
Not only that Ohlins have brought out a new folk and shock, so Hickman is looking forward to seeing how these adjustments will compare for 2017. The Showdown is the aim for the Northerner and he was so close last year, but was blighted by DNF’s and technical issues.
“Changing manufacturer and changing team so all change for 2017. I have rode the BMW quite a lot in previous years so I have quite a bit experience. We have come up against the usual problems. I am quite happy with testing it went quite well for us, but testing is one thing and racing is another,” said Hickman, speaking to bikesportnews.com.
“Just getting the chassis setup spot on, they are quite a finicky bike so to get them absolutely perfect is really difficult and the suspension is different. We are on Ohlins this year and we are the first team to run Ohlins on a BMW in BSB, which you find it hard to believe but we are the first team to do it, and Ohlins have brought out a new folk and new shock so they are learning as well.
“If we can get the balance right on the bike sooner rather than later then that will help us for definite in getting the good results right from the start. I was so close to the Showdown last year for the second time.
“I had a really strong season last year and I had a couple of little break downs here and there which didn’t help and we would have been in the top six if it wasn’t for that. Now we have to make sure we are in the top six week in week out.”