Peter Hickman has spoken out over the decision to cancel the 2020 Isle of Man TT, saying he is ‘gutted’ but determined to come back stronger for the 2021 event.
Earlier this week the TT – one of the world’s biggest motorcycling events – was scrapped after the Manx Government took the unprecedented step to avoid putting itself in the path of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe.
Though the island has no confirmed cases of the virus as of writing, it says it has a duty of care to the residents not to attract the large international crowds associated with the event.
The news was met with widespread disappointment and surprise, albeit largely supported by the racing community.
It’s a view shared by Smiths Racing’s Hickman, regarded as the fastest road racer of the moment, who says he is disappointed the ‘incredibly hard work over the winter’ will not be capitalised on, but accepts there are more important matters at present.
While the North West 200 and the start of the 2020 British Superbike Championship has also been postponed, he says he will continue training hard for whenever they get underway.
“Naturally I’m absolutely gutted about the 2020 TT being cancelled. The Smiths Racing team and all my sponsors have been working incredibly hard over winter and we were all looking forward to a fantastic event. These are unprecedented times though and the health and well-being of everyone involved, from the officials and riders to the fans and residents on the Isle of Man, has to come first. We’ll be back though, so here’s to TT 2021!
“In the meantime, we’re still working to get the bike ready for when the BSB season gets underway and for the postponed North West. I’ve also been working on some other exciting projects for this year… which I’ll be announcing very soon!
“Wishing you all good health and I can’t wait to get back racing and make up for lost time.”
Hickman was due to ride the Smiths Racing BMW S1000RR in the Superbike races on the TT, as well as a Yamaha R6 in the Supersport class. He was also originally set to ride a Norton in the Lightweight TT class before the British company went under.