Peter Hickman faces the NW200 dilemma over regulation

Hickman is among the race favorites for the May 10-14 North Coast showpiece, where he is entered in Superbike, Superstock, Supersport and Supertwin races.

However, the English driver – a Supersport class podium finisher at the North West – has revealed he may have to sit out both 600 races.

The 35-year-old Trooper Beer Triumph 765 is currently not eligible under current North West Supersport regulations, which do not allow Evo-spec machines.

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Peter Hickman celebrates his Superstock victory at the North West 200 in 2019.

Hickman speaks to race chief Mervyn Whyte about the situation, but admits he may not be competing in the Supersport class.

“I’m still talking to Mervyn Whyte and the MCUI tellers about the rules, but if I’m not allowed to ride the Triumph I won’t be in the Supersport class this year,” he said.

Looking ahead to the return of the big road race in a matter of weeks – back for the first time since 2019 after the coronavirus pandemic forced the event to be canceled in successive years – Hickman said the North -West was perfect preparation for the Isle of Man TT.

“The North West is the first big international road race of the year and it gets you up to speed on a road and ready for the TT,” he said.

“I really like it. A lot of people complain about the track and everything, but to be honest, a track is a track.

“Whether there’s chicanes or hairpins or whatever, I don’t care – I just like racing bikes and I can race them at 200 mph on public roads against a charge of my friends.”

Hickman enters 2022 as the man to beat on the roads after setting a new round the world record at the Ulster Grand Prix in 2019, where he spun at 136mph and won seven races from seven starts.

He also holds the all-time TT lap record, turning over 135mph in 2018 on his way to victory as a senior.

During a visit to the 8.9-mile “Triangle” course last week, Hickman was impressed with the new resurfacing that has been carried out, particularly on his favorite section of Coast Road.

“There’s a lot of new tarmac and it looks good,” Hickman said.

“The whole course looks in good condition and I hope the level of grip is high. From Church Corner to York this is one of the best bits of tarmac in the race and I can’t wait to get back there.

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