Hickman’s record breaking 135.452mph TT lap
Peter Hickman took a second and a third place in the Superbike and Superstock TT, but he stood on the top of the rostrum on Friday with victory in the premier Senior TT after smashing the Isle of Man lap record with a 135.452mph scorcher to officially make him the world’s fastest road racer.
“That was a tough race as I knew Dean (Harrison) and Michael [Dunlop) were going to be fast right from the start but Michael dropped back and my first board said I was in second place with an eight second gap to Conor (Cummins) in third. I was actually quite happy with that as I was within a few seconds of the lead and am a steady starter. I have been strong on the Mountain all week from Ramsey back to the Grandstand so I come into my own a bit when we get to that. The pit stops went pretty well and I figured if I was within five or six seconds behind Dean by the time I got to Ballaugh I could have a good run over the mountain and have a stab at the win. I saw on my board I was in the lead by just under a second and thought as long as I kept my head down and not make any mistakes I would be on for the win. We came here to try to win one race and we have come away with two, including the big one plus the lap record so what more can I say, it’s been a mega two weeks. I can’t thank the Smiths BMW Team and all the sponsors enough for putting such a good bike together for me; she has been as sweet as a nut. It’s been an emotional two weeks!”
After the disappointment of not being able to complete his first race on Saturday (June 2) Hickman went out in the first of two four lap Supersport TT races on Monday and recorded a strong third place on the Trooper Triumph by Smiths Racing. He then went on to take his first ever TT win when he rode the Smiths Racing BMW in the Superstock race and emerged the winner by a narrow 4 second margin over Michael Dunlop, smashing the Superstock record with a fastest lap of 134.403mph.
On Wednesday he was back out on the Trooper Triumph by Smiths Racing bike in the second Supersport race elevating h This time he completed the race in a strong second place.
Hickman was back out in the afternoon riding the ER650cc Kawasaki for three-time TT winner Ryan Farquhar’s team. Hickman, who rode for Farquhar’s team in last year’s race, also started as one of the leading contenders for the race win after finishing third last year. But it was not to be as although he had moved up into a comfortable third place on the third of four laps he only got as far as Union Mills before retiring.
Friday was the feature race of the TT, the Senior TT which every rider dreams of winning. Riding the Smiths Racing BMW Superbike Hickman (31) got away to a fast start and was second at the first checkpoint of Glen Helen on the first of six grueling laps of the 37.73 mile Mountain road course.
After the first pit stop at the end of lap two he was some four seconds behind race leader Dean Harrison and put in a record breaking lap of 134.456mph to bring the time down to just over a second at the second pit stop at four laps distance.
Now into the back markers on lap five the Lincolnshire rider from Louth lost a few seconds on the run to Glen Helen but again made up the deficit to just under two seconds by the end of the lap.
Going into the final lap he was three and a half seconds away from Harrison but kept chipping away at the time and at the Bungalow he was 0.8s ahead on time. He extended his lead on the run down the mountain to cross the finish line for his second win of the week with a two second advantage over Harrison and rewrote the history books by destroying the lap record he previously set two laps earlier with a stunning 135.456mph lap.
Hickman has come a long way in four years of competing at the TT and still holds the Best Newcomer lap record he set in 2014. He has now added the biggest prize in road racing to his collection of trophies, the Senior TT trophy, plus the outright lap and race record and the title of the world’s fastest road racer. He has been on the podium in every race he has completed at the TT in the last two years with nine podiums to his name including the two wins this time.
Hickman now returns to the mainland to prepare for the fourth round of the British Superbike Championship at Snetterton next weekend. (June 15-17)