Isle of Man TT: 'The perception is we're crazy, maybe we are' - Hickman
Isle of Man TT lap record holder Peter Hickman says riding the Mountain Course is "all calculated" despite the perception that "it's all a bit crazy".
Hickman set a new circuit benchmark of 135.542mph in winning the Senior TT last year, having triumphed in the Superstock class earlier in the week.
"You're in your zone - you know what you're doing," said the 32-year-old.
"From the outside it looks mental, more dramatic, but when you're on your bike it doesn't seem that way."
"The perception is maybe we're all a bit crazy and maybe we are just a little bit," added the Burton-on-Trent rider.
"So many people say 'one minute you're there chatting about what you need to do and where you need to go faster and the next minute you're doing 185mph going down Bray Hill'."
Hickman's flying final lap saw him edge out long-time leader Dean Harrison to take victory in the blue riband event of last year's races but the double TT winner believes it could have been even faster had he not been held up by some slower riders.
"I got held up on that 135mph lap - when I watched the lap back I surprised myself how many people I actually catch and have to pass.
"I was quite patient with a lot of them as well. You have to be. It's not a short circuit - you can't just bully your way past. You have to be a lot more thoughtful of everything around you.
"Not much comes close to riding round the TT, never mind setting a lap record and taking my first TT wins. It was epic all round."
The Lincolnshire rider will compete for the Smith's Racing team for the third successive year, piloting the new BMW Superbike and Superstock machines, as well as a Supersport Triumph and a Norton in the Lightweight Supertwins.
He has finished fourth and fifth in the British Superbike series over the last two years but has successfully transferred his talents to the roads.
"BSB is a completely different style of riding. We still ride 100% at the TT - it's just a different style of riding.
"In BSB you are absolutely on the limit, close to crashing every single corner, and if you aren't you will have four people come up the inside of you.
"At the TT you're not racing other people - you're racing yourself and you're racing the track, so because of that you've got room and space to ride it but differently.
"I come to the TT because I enjoy it and I want to do it. I want to ride a bike, have fun and go and do 160mph wheelies down a road and pull some big skids.
"The by-product of that is that we've managed to win some races. It's not the 'be-all and end-all' for me. Of course I want to win but I'm here to enjoy myself and have fun and I think that's why it works for me so well. I don't over-think the thing."