HICKMAN BREAKS OUTRIGHT LAP RECORD IN RL360 SUPERSTOCK TT RACE 2
Peter Hickman clinched his 11th victory at the Isle of Man TT Races when he won today’s second RL360 Superstock race in sensational style, the Monster Energy by FHO Racing BMW rider smashing his own outright lap record with a stunning final lap speed of 136.358mph.
Just like the previous Superstock race, Hickman quickly grabbed the lead from the outset and never looked back as he won by more than 17 seconds from Michael Dunlop (MD Racing Honda) with Dean Harrison (DAO Racing Kawasaki) once more taking third.
After an hour’s delay allowing a tree to be repaired at Greeba Castle, the race got underway at 12.45pm under sunny skies but with a blustery wind, especially over the Mountain and Hickman grabbed the lead at Glen Helen on the opening lap, his advantage over Dunlop just one tenth of a second. Harrison was in third, a further 2.6 seconds in arrears, followed by Conor Cummins (MIlenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles Honda), Jamie Coward (KTS Racing powered by Steadplan Honda) and James Hillier (OMG Racing Yamaha).
Cummins’ team-mate Todd, suffering with a sickness bug, which required a pre-race injection, was down in eighth with David Johnson, who’d started number one on the road, already out after retiring at Ballacraine with the same fate befalling Julian Trummer.
By Ballaugh, Hickman had stretched his lead out to 1.5 seconds but it had come back down to 0.8 seconds as they rounded Ramsey Hairpin for the first time and although Harrison and Cummins continued in third and fourth respectively, Hillier had relegated Coward to sixth albeit by just half a second. Todd was clearly struggling though and had slipped back further to 11th.
At the end of lap one, the riders pitted for their solitary fuel stop and an opening lap of 134.068mph gave Hickman a 1.8 seconds lead over Dunlop with Harrison still in third but now 11.6 seconds adrift. Cummins continued to hold fourth and with Coward getting back in front of Hillier for fifth, the top ten was rounded out by Josh Brookes, John McGuinness, Shaun Anderson and Dominic Herbertson.
James Hind, meanwhile, had retired at Sulby Bridge but Ryan Cringle was having another great ride, the Manx newcomer setting a personal best lap of 124.414mph as he slotted into 21st.
Hickman’s lead had gone out to 2.3 seconds as they went through Glen Helen for the second time with Harrison remaining just over 11 seconds behind in third. Cummins was a similar distance back in fourth but whilst Coward held station in fifth, there was change further back as Brookes and McGuinness moved up to sixth and seventh as Hillier slipped back to eighth.
Over Ballaugh Bridge on lap two, Hickman had added another second to his lead and by Ramsey Hairpin it was 3.8 seconds with Harrison losing more time in third, the gap to second now 16 seconds. He held the same advantage over Coward, but he was only 1.5s in front of Brookes who, in turn, only had a half second buffer to McGuinness. Hillier wasn’t out of the battle for fifth either as he sat 2.2s behind McGuinness.
Hickman was extending his lead ever so slightly through each timing point and as he started his third and final lap, he led Dunlop by 5.1s, Harrison continuing to run in a comfortable third. The same applied to Cummins in fourth but the battle for fifth continued to rage with nine seconds covering Coward, Brookes, Hillier and McGuinness. Rutter and Herbertson were now in ninth and tenth, but Todd’s brave ride came to an end as he retired at the pits.
The lead was up to 6 seconds at Glen Helen on lap three and little wonder as Hickman broke Harrison’s five-year old sector time from the Grandstand to Glen Helen. Harrison and Cummins were looking secure in third and fourth with Coward extending his gap over Brookes to 4.5 seconds and Hillier had now overhauled McGuinness for seventh.
All eyes were on Hickman as he circulated at outright lap record pace and the lead was over eight seconds at Ballaugh, which had jumped out to 13.2 seconds at the Bungalow and as he crossed the line at the end of the three laps, his winning margin over Dunlop was 17.1 seconds. The lap speed stood out more though at a sensational 136.358mph which obliterated the class lap record and added almost a full mph on to the outright lap record!
Harrison and Cummins took comfortable third and fourth place finishes and the battle for fifth went the way of Brookes by just 0.49 seconds after setting a new personal best lap of 131.759mph. Hillier grabbed seventh from McGuinness with Herbertson taking ninth from Rutter on the final lap. Meanwhile, Cringle went quicker again on his final lap with an excellent speed of 126.096mph seeing him rewarded with 19th position.
Carole Nash Supertwin TT Race 2 will begin at 15:00.