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TT 2016: Hickman set for debut in Lightweight race

Peter Hickman will make his debut in the Lightweight race at this year's Isle of Man TT after signing a deal with Northern Ireland team Cookstown B.E. Racing.
Peter Hickman will make his debut in this year's Lightweight TT after signing for Northern Ireland team Cookstown B.E. Racing, run by former racer John Burrows.

Hickman, who will ride the JG Speedfit GBmoto Kawasaki machinery in the feature classes at the international road races this year, has agreed terms to make his bow in the 650cc Supertwin race at the Isle of Man TT on a Kawasaki ER-6 for Burrows.

The English star has been a sensation on the roads, sealing a win in the second Superbike race at the Ulster Grand Prix last August before adding another stunning triumph to his name at Macau in only his second year in the discipline.

Hickman, now the eighth fastest man in TT history after a blistering 131mph lap in 2015, said: “I spoke to the TT's Paul Phillips about a ride for the Lightweight race and he recommended John Burrows and put me in touch with him and we quickly came to an agreement.

“I think that the Cookstown Burrows Engineering Kawasaki and I will be a strong combination, one that can get close to the rostrum, if not on it. This year will be my third at the TT and I've already proved how fast I can be.

“John's machinery is always competitive and proven at the TT. Of course the Supertwin will be new to me but it's a challenge I'm looking forward to and I'll also welcome the extra track time it will give me.”

Hickman could also ride the machine at the North West 200 if Glenn Irwin is unavailable due to his commitments in the British Superbike Championship with Paul Bird's Be Wiser Ducati team.

Team owner Burrows said he was delighted to have signed Hickman after almost doing a deal with him at last year's Ulster Grand Prix.

“I've been really impressed with Peter Hickman since he came into road racing and I almost had him racing our Honda CBR600RR at last year's Ulster GP, but he eventually opted for a MV Agusta ride,” said Burrows.

“However, I've got my man this time. As soon as Peter showed an interest in riding one of our two Kawasaki 650 Supertwins machines I had no hesitation in putting a deal together and I'm delighted he has signed to do the Lightweight TT race for Cookstown Burrows Engineering Racing.

“He's a potential winner of the race and whatever the result he will be a great ambassador for the team and our sponsors.”

Irishman Derek Sheils will also ride for Burrows' team in 2016 on an ex-TAS Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike, while up and coming talent Malachi Mitchell-Thomas will race a full stable of machines at the Irish National meetings plus the North West, TT and Ulster Grand Prix.

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