Riding the Smiths Racing BMW, Hickman announced his arrival as a genuine front-runner with his first victory in Monday’s Superstock race, but he saved his best for last as he wrapped up the two-week event with a display that will go down in history as the fastest ever seen in the world.
With a final lap of 135.492mph, Hickman posted the quickest lap ever seen to overtake Harrison, who rather unluckily had led the race from the very start only to be passed in the final run down the mountain. Harrison, who won the Supersport race two on Wednesday, came home second just 2.061s behind Hickman, with Isle of Man native Conor Cummins a distant third as he came home 1:42.494mins behind the eventual winner.
Hickman’s achievement is all the more incredible given that a mechanical failure for James Hillier on the opening lap left oil down on the Barregarrow section of the course, with yellow flags remaining out on the course for the remaining five laps. Hickman, from Burton-on-Trent, was also held up by backmarkers over the first half of his final lap, but smashed sector record after sector record to snatch victory on the line.
“What a tough race,” said a beaming Hickman afterwards. “Dean was absolutely on it, massive credit to him. He was leading pretty much the whole race and I was losing time but then gaining over the mountain. Just wow, mega.
“[It’s] Unbelievable, the Smiths Racing BMW SS1000RR is just working absolutely mega. It’s a bit uncomfortable over the first two sectors but the second half of the lap it’s just sweet as a nut. I knew it would come down to seconds.
“I passed them [backmarkers] as cleanly as I could and I got held up at Kirkmichael. That’s one of the fastest sections of the track, I’m a tall guy so I can get through there side to side and I lost my advantage.”
But producing the lap of his life, Hickman rallied from 5.742s behind at Ballaugh Bridge to overtake Harrison, who himself broke the lap record with his final lap of 134.918mph, eclipsing the 134.432mph that he set in last Saturday’s Superbike TT and the 134.456mph that Hickman set on the second lap on Friday.
“It’s just disappointing on the last lap to get stuck behind so many slow riders,” Harrison said. “You’ve got to give them respect and pass them cleanly but I lost four seconds to Sulby.”
One rider who was expected to contend at the front was Michael Dunlop, but the 18-time TT winner struggled from the very start, losing 10 seconds on the run to Ramsey and fell away rapidly, finishing more than 48 seconds behind third-placed Cummins.
Josh Brookes, riding the Chrome-laden Norton, finished in a career-best fifth place, with the RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki of Gary Johnson sixth and the Riders Motorcycles BMW of Martin Jessopp seventh. Jamie Coward, newcomer Davey Todd and Brian McCormack completed the top 10.
Hillier failed to complete half-a-lap before his Kawasaki engine expired, while 16-time TT winner Ian Hutchinson retired at the end of his fourth lap as he continued to struggle with the leg injury that he suffered at last year’s TT. Hutchinson broke his femur in a crash that resulted in him having his ankle bone removed and made to grow 40mm of new bone, with the ‘Bingley Bullet’ only getting back onto a motorbike two weeks before the TT.
“38 days since my frame came off, I’ve done a test day at Mallory, 2 days racing at Mallory, a test day at Cadwell, 2 days practice at the northwest 200 and a day racing there, then 39 laps of the TT circuit,” he wrote on Twitter. “21 days out of the last 38 I’ve rode a race bike, no results but I made it.
“Massive, massive thank you to my surgeon @mkrkovic and my team @HondaRacingCBR and @PadgettsRacing1 for getting me here and trusting me to ride and @MonsterEnergyUK @rst_motodirect @WhyArai and all my sponsors for supporting me and sorry to fans if I’ve been a bit short.”
1. Peter Hickman 1:43:08.065
2. Dean Harrison +2.061
3. Conor Cummins +1:42.494mins
4. Michael Dunlop +2:37.25mins
5. Josh Brookes +3:01:839mins
6. Gary Johnson +3:58.753mins
7. Martin Jessopp +4:50.343mins
8. Jamie Coward +5:19.722mins
9. Davey Todd +5:51.994mins
10. Brian McCormack +5:56.318mins
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