2017 PI Classic: Clutch issue halts secret weapon Hickman

Picture: Aussie Russell Colvin

Team UK’s secret weapon Peter Hickman managed to only complete a total of four laps today at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit at the official practice day ahead of the Australian Motorcycle News International Island Classic.

The first session was held in semi wet conditions which saw Hickman riding on slick tyres, which meant he just took it steady for the session to get his eye in. Thankfully it dried out for the next session which saw ‘Hicky’ completing four laps, which turned out to be the best four laps of the day.

However, he did suffer an oil leak, but luckily the MCE BSB Superbike star noticed it and pulled in before there was a problem.

“We got that issue fixed, and it turned out it was nothing major at all,” Hickman told Bikesportnews.com. From there it was a downhill spiral as the final two sessions after that he only managed half a lap each as the clutch kept slipping on his machine.

“We can’t really figure out why. Everything looks alright, it measures up ok, but the clutch isn’t working correctly.”

For Hickman, who is Down Under for the first time ever, let alone at the 4.445km seaside circuit, he described the track as “mega” and a real buzz to ride on.

“The circuit is just ace to ride on. I have enjoyed the four laps thus far which I have got to have done. I just hope to do more tomorrow.”

And what about his thoughts about riding these ‘old beats’? “The Team Winfield Harris F1 is pretty much as I expected to be fair. Again I have only done four proper laps on the bike, so it’s quite difficult to say.

“Tomorrow we don’t exactly get a lot of time either, so fingers crossed tomorrow runs a bit more smoothly. Overall, the bike is pretty much as I expected it would be like. It’s actually pretty fast. But it’s a big old wide heavy lump as well and doesn’t like going around corners.”

While Hickman may have only nailed four laps, he did make some tweak’s today which made the bike better, even in the very short amount of time that he did get on track. “We’ll be alright tomorrow,” he declared.

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