Gloucester-based Smiths Racing BMW are pleased to announce that they will return in 2017 with a two-rider team to contest the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship as well as the major International road races.
The former double British Supersport champions and TT winners endured a difficult season in 2016 due to a number of factors and over the winter months, Team Manager Rebecca Smith has considered their options carefully.
The end result is they have signed 29-year-old Peter Hickman and fellow Lincolnshire rider, Lee Jackson (21) whereby both riders will contest the entire MCE BSB series aboard Smiths Racing BMW S1000RRs whilst Hickman will additionally compete at the North West 200, Isle of Man TT Races and Ulster GP for Smiths Racing.
Hickman, from Louth, won two MCE BSB races last season on his way to winning the Rider’s Cup title as well as taking victory at the Ulster Grand Prix and defending his Macau Grand Prix title. Very much in demand as one of the sport’s great all-rounders, Peter returns to the BMW marque with which he’s enjoyed so much success in the past.
Lincoln-based Jackson, meanwhile, won the 2012 National Superstock 600 Championship and since then, has ridden the BMW S1000RR in both Superstock 1000 and MCE BSB for the Buildbase BMW team whereby last season, he put together a consistent campaign to finish in 13th place overall with a best result of fifth place at Brands Hatch.
Peter Hickman: “I have another new challenge to look forward to again this season and I’m relishing it aboard the Smiths Racing BMW. All the dealings I’ve had with the team so far have been fantastic and they are very easy to work with. I know the BMW well having ridden it in the past and we’ve been promised the right support from the factory in Germany which will make a difference. I’m pleased to be bringing my own crew into the team which is a massive bonus so I’m really looking forward to the season in both BSB and on the roads with Smiths Racing.”
Lee Jackson: “This will be the first time I’ve joined a new team in five years so it’s a totally different challenge and one I’m very much looking forward to. It was time to stand on my own two feet and
Rebecca has given me the platform to do that on the BMW which I’m familiar with. I know the package and with the support we will have in place, I couldn’t be more excited. I’m really looking forward to getting started and the first race at Donington Park can’t come soon enough.”
Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: “There’s no doubting 2016 was a very difficult season for us all at Smiths Racing and although everyone gave 100%, the results just didn’t come. This year, we are taking a slightly different approach with the help of the factory and we now feel we are in a position to challenge much higher up the leaderboard. Both Lee and Peter bring a wealth of BMW experience to the team and both are established BSB riders whilst we are equally delighted to be making a return to the roads with Peter.”
The opening round of the 2017 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship takes place at Donington Park over the weekend of 31 March/2 April and for more information, please visit www.smithsracing.co.uk and www.britishsuperbike.com. Details of the International road races can be found at www.northwest200.org (7/13 May), www.iomtt.com (27 May-9 June) and www.ulstergrandprix.net (6/12 August).