Peter Hickman is looking to maintain his early momentum while refining the new Kawasaki ZX-10R at Oulton Park in the MCE British Superbike championship.
The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider recovered from a technical retirement in the 2016 curtain raiser to claim a dramatic victory in race two at Silverstone to give himself a solid base to build upon for the rest of the season.
Hickman, along with team-mates James Ellison and Leon Haslam – who claimed pole position at Silverstone three weeks ago -, enjoyed a productive in-season test at Oulton Park working on refining the chassis and engine settings on the new ZX-10R and ended the day seventh overall.
With the Cheshire track posing a very different challenge to speedy Silverstone, Hickman says he's pleased to see the Kawasaki has adapted well between tracks and is confident he can take his fight towards the front at round two this weekend.
“The test here last week was really positive, Oulton is a very different circuit to Silverstone so we weren't entirely sure how the bike would compare but it felt really good from the off which was definitely a nice surprise,” Hickman said. “We worked through everything we wanted last week and have a good base setting, so hopefully it's going to be a case of fine tuning the package during practice.
“For me, Oulton is one of the best circuits to ride in the world. It's certainly a tough track, but when it all comes together it's a brilliant place. We were one of the only guys to do a full race distance in testing last week, so fingers crossed the weather's kind to us this weekend and we can pick up where we left off at Silverstone.”
12 months ago Hickman was forced to sit out the two races at Oulton Park competing with RAF Reserves BMW after suffering two broken ribs in a wet practice session.
The fastest-ever newcomer at the Isle of Man TT, who will be taking on the roads with JG Speedfit Kawasaki this year, returned to Oulton Park last September and notched up two top ten finishes.