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MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix: “We’re Good To Go” Hickman In Chilled Frame Of Mind

Dominant thus far this week at Dundrod, Peter Hickman is going into MCE Insurance Ulster GP race day, in a chilled frame of mind.

Speaking at the launch of MMB Surfacing been confirmed as title sponsors of Saturday’s feature Superbike race, he reflected on what’s been a perfect start to his fourth Ulster GP campaign.

“Everything has been going good. The Smiths BMW has been working really well, and it’s been mega all week. I can’t complain.

I’m feeling confident going into Saturday but qualifying and practice are one thing and then racing is another, so you never really know what’s going to happen.

Nobody is that far behind, it’s not like we’re miles in front. The pole on stock and Superbike are by like 0.1 of a second so we’re not running away with everything, as much as it might seem that way sometimes.

It’s all close, the boys will keep me honest and I’m looking forward to a bit of a battle. We want some real good racing for everyone to enjoy and fingers crossed we still come out on top.”

Photo courtesy of Rachel McFarlane

Adding that pretty much no changes are needed to make the Smiths Racing BMW in Superbike trim, more competitive ahead of race day, he said:

“Not even a click. We’ll kick the tyres a bit and put some fuel in and we’re good to go.”

Looking back on a quite momentous Dundrod 150 Superbike race, which saw him become the world’s fastest road racer, the three times international road race winner said:

“Track conditions were really good on both Wednesday and Thursday so we got some good practice in. Everything just worked out and then in the race I was really happy. I knew I needed to try and get away but it’s difficult to do that at Dundrod.

The slipstream means even if you are half a second or a second faster than someone they can make it all back on the straights. I got a good start and didn’t really see anyone all race.

I just wanted to put my head down for the first couple of laps and then we managed to break the lap record, but by that point I think we had a three second gap so I just backed off a little and managed the race from there.

Laps three and four were fast so I thought if anyone comes with me then fair play, we’ll have a race on our hands.”

In peak form and ultra happy with his steeds, it’s going to take in my opinion, special performances to stop Hicky from securing at minimum a hat trick of Ulster GP victories, today.

Words by Stevie Rial