Tsingtao Kawasaki have made an eleventh hour switch to their lineup for this weekend’s MCE British Superbike Championship round at Snetterton, with TT newcomer hero Peter Hickman replacing Jon Kirkham on the team’s ZX-10R superbike for the remainder of the weekend.
“Jon doesn’t feel like he’s in a position to ride the bike at the minute, and with a commitment to the series and to our sponsors to have the bike on the grid, we’ve decided to put someone else on it” team boss Dave Tyson told MCN ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying session.
“I spoke to Peter at the TT about the option of running a second superbike, so we’d already been in talks. He’s of a similar stature to Jon, so the information we already have on the bike is useful, and obviously he’s coming off the back of a very strong TT, and I think he’s going to go really well.”
Hickman is fresh from the Isle of Man TT, where he blitzed the newcomer lap record with a 129mph lap in the Senior TT to become the fastest ever newcomer around the course, but says a lack of track time on circuits will hinder him at Snetterton.
“I want to be in BSB, and I’ve always said that, but I didn’t expect it to be now! I was actually half way to Snetterton with the leathers already in the van - coming to do some pillion laps for MCE - when I got the call from Dave, and instead of trying to scare some punters I’m going to try and scare myself!”
“I’ve not ridden a superbike since October, and it’ll be a bit of a baptism of fire going straight into a twenty minute qualifying session, but I’ll go out and enjoy myself, get two race finishes, and pull some crowd-pleasing wheelies!”