BSB: Hickman: 'Balls and commitment is how to go fast here'

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Peter Hickman has said ‘big balls’ and being committed is the secret to going fast at Thruxton after topping both sessions on the opening day of Bennetts British Superbike action.

The 2018 Senior TT winner has struggled on the short circuits so far this season, something he puts down to a change in Pirelli’s softer rear tyre, which is thought to be designed to be more durable than the previous rubber but sacrifices grip level.

However, that problem has been slightly less noticeable for Hickman at the super-grippy Thruxton despite the blistering temperatures.  

“The bike feels really good, but it has felt good all year,” Hickman told MCN. “For me, the difference in tyres this year from Pirelli hasn’t really helped us. Everywhere we go I’m slightly slower than I was last year, including here but it hasn’t seemed to matter.

“I’m always strong at Thruxton, I have been throughout my entire career. I guess because it’s ballsy and you’ve got to be really committed and that’s something I am. We set the bike up as we raced it last year when I finished first and second, and it’s worked straight away here.

“We tried something this afternoon and I wasn’t too sure, but we didn’t go quite as fast as we did this morning but then not many people did in the temperature. The good thing is we didn’t go backwards even though I wasn’t too keen on the change we made.

“We’ll keep working at it and see how the weekend goes, my aim is to finish on the podium here as we could do with getting our season going after a pretty rubbish start to the year.”

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing