TT 2018: ‘That’s the hardest I’ve ridden here’ – Hickman
Peter Hickman claimed his first ever victory at the Isle of Man TT Races on Monday afternoon, when he admitted it was the hardest he’d ever ridden around the Mountain Course as he took a sensational win on the Smiths BMW S1000RR in the four-lap Superstock race.
And with a new lap record as well, it completed a superb day for the 31 year old having finished third in the Monster Energy Supersport TT race one earlier in the day. What made Hickman’s race win all the more stunning was that he overshot Braddan Bridge on the opening lap, losing somewhere in the region of 10-15s
“Sitting here now as a TT winner feels pretty good but I thought I’d fluffed it at the start though when I overshot on the way into Braddan,” Hickman said afterwards. “I had to stop, reverse and then turn around again before I could get going and I must have lost 15 seconds at least. Everyone knows I’m not the greatest on the opening lap and I just left my braking a little bit late going into Braddan and with a full tank of fuel, it unsettled the bike and I had to go straight on. On the run to Union Mills, I was cursing myself but I got my head down and when I saw P3 on my board at the end of the lap, I thought I might still be in with a sniff.”
Second time around, he smashed the class lap record with a speed of 134.077mph but, despite of that, there was still only three seconds covering Hickman and main rivals Michael Dunlop and Dean Harrison, with his lead being only 1.2 seconds.
The gaps continued to fluctuate and at Ramsey on the fourth and final lap, Peter only led Dunlop by 0.146s but with some record sector times over the Mountain, he edged away to eventually win by 4.4 seconds, with his final lap of 134.403mph setting a new Superstock lap record and only just outside the outright lap record set by Harrison on Saturday.
“It’s probably the hardest I’ve ever ridden around here whilst the wind also caught me out a couple of times over the Mountain as it was constantly changing direction. I’ve been fast on the Superstock bike all week and rode as hard throughout the race as I could so this means a lot to me, my family and the team. With a podium in the Supersport race after a really good scrap with James Hillier, it’s been a good day and certainly makes up for the retirement in Saturday’s Superbike race.”