Hickman switches from Triumph to Yamaha for Supersport road racing class

Lewis Duncan
Hickman switches to Yamaha for Supersport class
Hickman switches to Yamaha for Supersport class

Five-time Isle of Man TT winner Peter Hickman will switch from Triumph to Yamaha machinery in the Supersport class for the 2020 international road racing season.

Hickman and the Smiths Racing team used a Triumph 675cc K2 bike from 2017-'19, with Hickman grabbing his first win in the SSP class at the TT last year and guiding the bike to victory at the Ulster Grand Prix as well.

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However, the K2 has been out of production for several years now, while the latest Yamaha R6 has become the benchmark in Supersport racing.

Ashcourt Racing's Lee Johnston won on the R6 at the TT last year, and proved Hickman's closest challenger in SSP at the Ulster GP.

On Thursday, Yamaha confirmed it had joined forces with Smiths Racing and Hickman in the SSP class for 2020.

Hickman said: "We've made the decision to change from the Triumph to the Yamaha in the Supersport class for the International road races which will obviously be a bit different to the last three years.

"We've had an awesome time with the Triumph and it's been absolutely brilliant with the win at last year's TT and all three victories at the Ulster Grand Prix being phenomenal.

"The little Daytona has done a fantastic job but, unfortunately, it's a little bit long in the tooth now so to try and move with the times and keep up with what everyone else is doing we've decided to move over to the Yamaha.

"I've never actually raced an R6 before so I'm really looking forward to jumping on it to see what we can do."

Hickman will once again remain with BMW machinery in the Superbike and Superstock classes on the roads this year, with Smiths Racing becoming the German manufacturers official road racing team for 2020.

In the Lightweight class, Smiths will run Norton's effort on the 650cc Superlight for Hickman.

The 2020 road racing campaign was a dominant one for Hickman, as he managed a win at the North West 200, three victories at the TT and completed a record clean sweep of seven wins at the Ulster GP.

This earned him a nomination for Rider of the Year in the 2019 Autosport Awards, though he was ultimately beaten by six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez.

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