Peter Hickman of Smiths Racing BMW claimed his first victory at the Isle Of Man TT, fuelled by Monster Energy. The sensational RL360° Superstock TT race saw Hickman locked in fierce battle with Michael Dunlop (MD Racing BMW) and snatch a 4.4-second lead to end up the winner. Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) brought up third.
The thrilling race was one long, furious battle between the top three racers. Indeed, positions kept switching throughout the race. Hickman blazed a new track record of 216.3 kph, smashing Dunlop’s own two-day-old record of the RST Superbike race. The pace Hickman brought to the race saw him come home 58.7 earlier of the old race record.
At the beginning of the race, Dean Harrison led Michael Dunlop by 3.5 seconds trough Glen Helen, with Gary Johnson trailing in third. Rutter, Hillier, and David Johnson completed the top six. Peter Hickman in the meanwhile had gotten off to a slow start after missing the turn at Braddan Bridge and had to work through nine racers to be at the top.
Through Ramsey however, Hickman had upped his pace tremendously and secured the third spot, six seconds behind Dunlop and 3.5s ahead of Rutter. As the race approached Glen Helen, Harrison was 5.7s ahead of Dunlop and Hickman had brought down the gap to a mere 1.4s behind in third. By Ballaugh, Hickman was ahead of Dunlop by 0.8s. Through Ramsey Hairpin, Harrison was leading Hickman by 2.4s, with Dunlop a further 2.2s behind. When he entered the pits, Hickman was in the lead, 1.2s ahead of Harrison who himself led Dunlop by 1.8s. Conor Cummins (McAdoo Kawasaki) had to retire.
The pit stops shuffled the top order and Michael Dunlop whisked away from the pits first, hotly followed by Harrison half a second behind, with Hickman relinquishing his lead to take up third place instead, albeit just 0.7s behind second. Ballaugh saw Dunlop at the lead with Hickman back up to second. The Burton upon Trent rider was just 0.178s adrift of the lead, with Harrison back in third.
As the race moved to Ramsey hairpin, Hickman had managed to scourge a lead of 0.87s over Dunlop, with Harrison trailing a further 1.7s. Only half a second separated the two riders approaching what was turning out to be a thrilling final lap. Harrison had slipped 5s behind Dunlop and was racing for third. Hickman added another eight-tenths of a second to his lead at Glen Helen, two-tenths of which were snatched back by Dunlop as they neared Ballaugh. By Ramsey, the lead was a miniscule 0.146s away from Dunlop. Hickman rose spectacularly to the challenge and set a blazing speed record from Ramsey to the Bungalow, the fastest ever, and went to tear up from thence to Cronk ny Mona smashing Dunlop’s speed record and setting the new marker at 216.3 kph.
The adrenalin-fueled final rush saw Peter Hickman claim his maiden TT win. And we would say it was hard-earned and truly deserved.