Lift Off For Peter Hickman.
A TT full of highs and lows comes to a close for BMW Motorrad, the BMW S 1000 RR taking three out of three big-bike wins and setting the new outright lap record.
Race week started with Michael Dunlop (Tyco BMW) storming to victory in the RST Superbike race, dedicating the win to his late teammate Dan Kneen (Tyco BMW). The opening race was soon followed by a rousing Superstock battle. An early mistake had dropped Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) to outside the top ten, but the fan-favourite rallied to produce the ride of his life (at the time) to take victory ahead of Dunlop and break the Superstock lap record in the process.
The scene was set for the closest and most thrilling Senior TT in recent memory, Hickman, Dunlop and Dean Harrison having all knocked on the door of a 135mph lap throughout the event. Unsurprisingly, the trio were in a league of their own once again as the six-lap race began, all setting laps of at least 131mph from a standing start.
Hickman and Harrison slowly extended their advantage at the front, over 10 seconds clear of third place after only two laps. The gap between the pair continually see-sawing between five and eight seconds, Hickman and the Smiths Racing BMW S 1000 RR with the superior pace over The Mountain. Lap Four saw Hickman set a new outright lap record of 134.456mph, despite having to slow into the pits. This cut the gap to Harrison to just over a second with two laps remaining. Once more the gap would open, but as the last lap began Hickman rallied. The six-lap endurance race would be decided over a one lap sprint.
A 135.452mph lap cemented victory for Hickman, making Hickman and the S 1000 RR the fastest man and motorcycle ever around the Isle of Man TT course. This was not only the first ever 135mph lap of the TT, but also makes Hickman the fastest road racer in the world.
“What can I say! What a tough race. Dean was on it all race. He was leading basically the whole way, I could gain over The Mountain but he had it at the start of the lap. I’m so happy for myself, for Smiths Racing and for BMW. Unbelievable to be the fastest road racer in the world. The Smiths BMW S 1000 RR was working perfectly, I knew it would come down to the last lap. I lost a little of my advantage passing some of the slower riders, but I just kept hitting my marks,” said an exuberant Hickman in parc ferme.
Further behind, Dunlop finished off his TT with a respectable fourth place aboard the Tyco BMW. He was followed home by Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW) in seventh. The BMW S 1000 RR filling five of the top ten spots once again.
Of the nine big-bike podium places on offer, the S 1000 RR took four of them and claimed all three wins over the course of the 2018 Isle of Man TT. Across the Superbike, Superstock and Senior TT races there were never less than five BMW S 1000 RR machines in the top ten.
Hickman’s success at this year’s Isle of Man TT was hotly anticipated after five podiums in 2017. He took his first TT win on just his fifth visit to the 37.73 mile course and followed it up with victory in the TT’s most prestigious race just a few days later. His Superstock and Senior TT victories now mean he has won at all major International Road Races, cementing himself as the best all-rounder in British road racing. He will be back on British Superbike duties with Smiths Racing at Snetterton on 15 – 17 June 2018.