Peter Hickman to ride Smiths Racing BMW superbike at North West 200 in May

Eventual race winner Peter Hickman leads NI's Glenn Irwin during the 12-lap race at Macau
Peter Hickman (right) on the way to victory at the Macau Grand Prix in November

Peter Hickman will compete at this year's North West 200 on the same Smiths Racing BMW Superbike which he will race in this season's British Superbike Championship.

Hickman, who became the North West 200's fastest ever newcomer in 2014, finished 2016 on a high by winning a second successive Macau Grand Prix.

"I know the BMW well having ridden it in the past," said the Englishman, 29.

"And we've been promised the right support from the factory in Germany."

Hickman clinched two British Superbike series wins in 2016 for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team but his major international wins have been aboard a BMW.

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Peter Hickman won the Macau GP for the second year running

The Burton-on-Trent man took his first international road race win on one of the German manufacturer's bikes at the Ulster Grand Prix in 2015 and both his Macau victories have also been on a BMW.

After becoming the North West 200's fastest newcomer in 2014, Hickman missed the 2015 event because of injury but he claimed a Superstock runner-up spot and Supersport third place at last year's Triangle meeting.

In addition, Hickman also finished fourth in one of last year's Superbike races.

"As one of the fastest men on the roads today it will be great to have Peter back at the North West 200 in May," said North West Event Director Mervyn Whyte.

"The Smiths team has a superb racing pedigree having won races on the roads and short circuits and we are delighted the team will make their 2017 road racing debut with Peter at Portrush."

The North West 200 race week will start on 7 May with Saturday's main day of racing on 13 May.

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