Peter Hickman says he heads to the North West 200 with optimism as he launches his road racing campaign with an assault on all classes for the first time.
Hickman will partner up with his MCE British Superbike squad JG Speedfit Kawasaki for the Superbike and Superstock races competing on the same spec ZX-10R with which he claimed victory at Silverstone last month, as well as a ZX-6RR in both 600cc races. The Burton-born rider will also make his debut in the smaller twins with John Burrow's Engineering squad.
The fastest newcomer to the Isle of Man TT missed the NW200 last year due to a neck injury sustained in BSB at Oulton Park but hit the headlines at the end of last season with victory at the Macau Grand Prix.
After getting to grips with the factory-spec Kawasaki ZX-10R on the short circuits Hickman is confident he can translate his pace on to the roads.
“The North West is an incredible event and I was gutted to miss last year with injury, so am really looking forward to going back,” Hickman said. “Aside from the Macau last year, 2016 will be the first time I actually race on the roads using a full-spec Superbike which is quite exciting.
“It's the same machine I use in the British championship, which is really helpful as I know what the bike's capable of. We've been working throughout the winter tests to get it where I want, and I think that showed at Silverstone where we were immediately competitive and were able to take the win.
“Obviously the roads is a completely different discipline, but the new 2016 Kawasaki is really stable which is a great quality to have.
"Despite only getting a day on track, we had a very strong test at the Castle Coombe circuit last week on both the Superbike and Superstock machine so I'm feeling confident of a good showing here.”