Friday pacesetter Peter Hickman has fired an ominous warning shot to his Bennetts British Superbike rivals after revealing his quick pace came despite a change in the wrong direction this afternoon.
And he also says the previous braking issues his Smith’s Racing BMW which have plagued previous rounds don’t seem to be a problem at Thruxton.
The fastest man around the Isle of Man TT Mountain Course was fast straight out of the blocks, topping the timesheets in both of today’s free practice sessions and later admitted his best lap of 1’15.140s was set on a bike he wasn’t entirely happy with.
“We went slightly the wrong way this afternoon even though we still ended up at the top,” he said. “It was just one of those things but somehow we made the bike worse to ride which is never ideal but we’re still trying to work out how to go faster so bit by bit.
“From session one we had a plan before we went out as we did last year. We did a 20 lap race run straight away just to see how the bike reacted.
“As everyone knows, it’s all about tyre life around here especially, just seeing where we would end up and straight away we found a setting that works.”
Not only has Hickman enjoyed taking Friday afternoon bragging rights, he is clearly feeling a lot happier with the bike.
At Snetterton three weeks ago, he told Bikesport News how he was still struggling to get the bike stopped, an issue which has plagued him all season.
However, there appear to be no such problems this weekend. “It’s not such an issue at all, really only on the last corner and maybe a little when you’re going into turn three.
“You’re kind of on the side of the tyre when you brake which is not so bad for us, it’s any upright braking that seems to be bad. We are just slightly weak in it but here isn’t so bad, even the last corner to a certain extent you’re kind of upright for a little bit but then you start turning.
“Whenever we start to turn we’re really strong, it’s when we’re upright that we’re weak.
“We are half way through the season and we kind of know roughly where the bike wants to be. We’ve still not tested it, but from all the racing we’ve done we kind of know roughly where we should be with it.”