Peter Hickman bounced back from the disappointment of not being allowed to start Thursday evening’s Supersport race at the North West 200 to win his first ever race around the 8.9-mile circuit, with victory coming in the following Superstock race.
The Smiths Racing BMW rider started the six-lap race from sixth place and the second row of the grid but grabbed the lead on the opening lap and enjoyed a race long battle with fellow BMW riders Alastair Seeley and Michael Dunlop.
It looked like Seeley would win yet another NW200 race as he led along the coast road on the final lap but Hickman beat him at his own game to nip through at the Juniper chicane, a move the Northern Irishman has pulled on numerous occasions himself.
“It felt mega to win here at last and the changes we’d made with the front end worked brilliantly during the race,” Hickman told bikesportnews.com. “The bike felt really good and I was able to stay in the front three throughout so was ready to take the battle to Alastair on the final lap.
“I sat there waiting and didn’t want to show him my front wheel until the last moment and although he’s fast along the coast road, and normally where he’s strongest, I was quicker than him there during the race, so wanted him to think he’d got the win. I waited and waited though and nipped ahead at the last minute going into Juniper so there was no way back for him and I’m over the moon for both myself and the team.”
Victory came just a couple of hours when Hickman was informed he wouldn’t be allowed to start the Supersport race as he hadn’t recorded enough qualifying laps across the two sessions, much to his annoyance.
“I managed four and a half laps on Tuesday but only one was above the required qualifying speed and then had problems on Thursday morning so I asked Mervyn (Whyte – event organiser) if I could start at the back of the first wave. I’d done loads of laps during the two days on the three bikes altogether but he point blank refused so I kind of fell out with him.
“I know rules are rules but it’s disappointing as a lot of time and effort has been put in by the team to get the Triumph ready and it’s not like I’m inexperienced or anything.”