While delighted to leave the 2018 Vauxhall International North West 200 having taken his first victory in the Superstock race, Peter Hickman was miffed with organisers after being forced to miss both Supersport races.
Hickman only managed four and a half laps on the Smiths Trooper Triumph across qualifying thanks to an engine issue on Thursday, but the rules state that riders must complete five laps on a machine to be able to race it.
MCN understands Hickman and the Smiths Racing team tried to reach a solution with event organisers that would see Hickman be able to take to the grid in Saturday’s second race, but bosses stood firm and forbade him from starting either of the 600 races.
Despite that and two DNFs in the Superbike races, it was a strong week for Hickman ahead of the 2018 Isle of Man TT kicking off later this week.
“I’m naturally delighted to have won my first NW200 Superstock race and the team deserved it as much as me as they’ve worked incredibly hard and given me a great bike,” he said. “I timed it perfectly in the first race and thought I’d done the same in the second as I tried to get a gap only for Alastair to brake later than I thought possible at the final chicane.
“In both Superbike races I made really good starts but had a few issues with the dash and then a problem with the rear tyre that forced me out, while in the second a stone went through the fairing and then through the radiator pipe which was unlucky.
“The biggest disappointment for me was not getting out in either Supersport race as everyone had put in a lot of effort getting the bike ready. I managed four and a half laps in qualifying when you are meant to do five, but I had an engine problem on Thursday morning so couldn’t do any more. I asked the organisers if I could start at the back of the first wave as I’d done loads of laps during the two days on the three bikes but he refused. I know rules are rules, but that annoyed me quite a bit.
“Overall, I’m quite happy as all the bikes are in good shape and it’s been a solid meeting ahead of the TT getting underway next week.”