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Peter Hickman adds North West 200 to 2014 plans

Experienced British Superbike rider Peter Hickman will make his road racing debut at the North West 200 in May
Peter Hickman is set to make his road racing debut at the Vauxhall International North West 200 in May.

Hickman, who rode in the MCE British Superbike Championship last year for the GBmoto Honda team, is entered in the Superstock and Superbike classes on BMW S1000RR machines for Paul Shoemith's Ice Valley Motorsave team.

The Louth man had previously confirmed his participation at the Isle of Man TT this year as Hickman becomes the latest recruit from the British championship paddock to take on the challenge of racing on closed public roads.

Aussie Josh Brookes made a successful roads debut in 2013, while former 125cc and Moto3 contender Danny Webb is preparing for his first TT experience in the summer.

Hickman said: “The North West will be my first ever road race. I've always been interested in the roads and I thought that this was the right time in my career to give it a go. I have a lot of experience and I am mature enough now as a rider.

“I don't have a BSB ride for this season at the moment; as it stands, the only racing that I am doing in 2014 will be on the roads. I think that the North West and the TT go hand in hand, you can't really do one without doing the other,” he added. “I talked to a few teams before I joined Paul Shoesmith's Ice Valley squad and they all wanted me to do both events.”

Hickman has been part of the British short circuit scene since 2004 when he won the National Superstock Cup championship on a ZX-10 Hawk Kawasaki. By 2006 he had moved on to BSB, where he had his best year in 2011 with a ninth place finish in the title race.

He is joined in Shoesmith's team by Simon Andrews, who is on the road to recovery following a serious accident in the Le Mans 24-Hour race at the end of last season.

“Paul runs a great set-up and it is perfect for me to work with someone like him who can be of help right from the start,” he said.

“I am also good friends with Michael Rutter and I'll be bending his ear trying to get some information on the North West course. I've watched the on-board laps and I can see that North West starts are a lot scarier than BSB, but I won't be pushing too hard.

“I'll take it as it comes, although that's not to say that I want to finish in 20th place. It's just that I won't be making any rash moves. I'm more excited than nervous though,” he added. “I'm looking forward to going flat out for long periods of time, which is something that I've never experienced before.

“The run down to Metropole looks mega and passing lampposts at 200mph will be a bit different for me.”

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