Smiths Racing BMW are delighted to announce that Peter Hickman and Sylvain Barrier will contest the 2018 British Superbike Championship for the Gloucester-based team.
30-year-old Hickman from Louth in Lincolnshire remains with Alan and Rebecca Smith’s team for a second successive season having finished in an impressive fourth place in the 2017 series. Hickman had a stellar season by claiming Smith Racing’s first ever BSB race win, which he did in style at Thruxton in August, whilst taking himself and the team into the title-deciding Showdown too for a first time.
Peter had a fantastic year at the major International road races too and plans to ride the Smiths BMW1000RR at the North West 200, Isle of Man TT Races, Ulster Grand Prix and Macau Grand Prix in 2018, alongside the full season in BSB.
Joining him will be French rider Sylvain Barrier who will make his debut in the British Superbike Championship in 2018. Originating from Oyonnax in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in eastern France, the 29 year old was FIM Superstock Cup champion in 2012 and 2013 and has had a long association with BMW.
Following a stint in the factory BMW World Superbike team thereafter, last year Sylvain raced in the MotoAmerica Superbike class where he finished in 15th place after a serious injury sustained early in the season scuppered his chances.
Peter Hickman: “This will be the first time in my career I’ve stayed with the same team on the same bike, so I’m delighted to be back with the Smiths team and on the BMW for 2018. We had a great season this year and we can now hit the ground running which can only benefit us. We know we have a lot more to come so I can’t wait to get started and I genuinely feel I can push for the BSB championship next year. We had a great package on the roads too and it’s great to get everything sorted early, so we can focus 100% on the goals we want to achieve in 2018.”
Sylvain Barrier: “I’m looking forward to racing in BSB and have already ridden at Cadwell Park with Peter who is not only fast, he’s a great guy too! I know it will be tough learning the tracks I don’t know and there are times I may struggle, but we have plans to do track days at the unfamiliar ones, so I know the logistics of them before we race there. We have tests planned over winter, so I can get used to the bike and my team, and I shall enjoy working with a family-based team. Alan and Rebecca have the same mentality as my own family, so I will give 100% and hope we can be competitive.”
Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: “It’s fantastic to get our plans in place at a relatively early stage so we can concentrate all our efforts on the 2018 season. Peter has done a brilliant job for us both at BSB and on the roads this year, so we are delighted to work with him again next year and we really do believe he can achieve even more success. As for Sylvain, he’s got loads of experience on the BMW and we’ll ensure the team will give him the best bike. We know it’s going to be a challenge at times but it’s one we’re prepared for and I’m sure he’ll do a great job for us.”
The opening round of the British Superbike Championship takes place at Donington Park on 31st March/2ndApril 2018.