In an impressive display, Peter Hickman ended Michael Dunlop's winning streak at the 2023 TT races on the Isle of Man this afternoon by winning the inaugural RL360 Superstock TT race in commanding fashion by a margin of 23.17 seconds.

Hickman’s fourth consecutive Superstock win.

The triumph represents Hickman’s fourth consecutive Superstock victory and brings his total number of TT wins to 10, following in the footsteps of TT legends such as Stanley Woods, Ian Lougher and Giacomo Agostini.  Aboard his FHO Racing BMW-sponsored machine, Hickman took the lead from the opening round at Ballaugh and never relinquished it.  Dunlop (MD Racing Honda) had to settle for second this time around, while Dean Harrison (DAO Racing Kawasaki) once again finished third.

 

Race against time and weather

Due to low-hanging clouds, the start of the race was delayed by three hours.  Finally, the race got underway at 2:45 pm.  Dunlop led the first pass through Glen Helen, but Hickman was close on his heels, just 0.65 seconds behind.  Harrison was another 1.69 seconds behind in third.

 

Turbulent early phase

In the field behind were Davey Todd (Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles Honda) and teammate Conor Cummins, who was making his first TT run in 2023, and James Hillier (OMG Racing Yamaha).  Also in the top ten were Jamie Coward (KTS Racing powered by Steadplan Honda), John McGuinness (Honda Racing), David Johnson (C&L Fairburn Properties/Jackson Racing Honda) and Dominic Herbertson (APERO BMW).  Josh Brookes, Hickman’s teammate, retired early and only made it as far as St Ninian’s.

 

Hickman pulls away

At Ballaugh, Hickman turned the tables and turned his deficit into a 2.2-second lead thanks to a time just outside the all-time best.  By the time he reached the Ramsey Hairpin for the first time, he had extended his lead to 3.3 seconds.  While Harrison remained in third place, Coward managed to overtake Hillier.

 

Mandatory stop and change of position

After a lap of 133.979 mph (about 215.61 km/h), Hickman led the field into pit lane for his mandatory pit stop, 2.7 seconds ahead of Dunlop.  A little time was lost when he tried to pass Todd on the track.  Still, he maintained his position ahead of Dunlop, while Harrison was still third.  Todd, Cummins and Coward followed in fourth through sixth, separated by just 1.1 seconds.

 

The decision falls

In the second heat, Hickman pulled away again thanks to a quicker pit stop and extended his lead to 5.3 seconds.  Dunlop simultaneously pulled away from Harrison by 10.8 seconds.  Todd began to feel more secure in fourth place, as he was now 3.3 seconds ahead of Coward.  But there was only 0.6 seconds between him, Cummins and Hillier.

 

Second run – Hickman dominates

Hickman continued to extend his lead during the second round.  By Ramsey Hairpin, the gap was 9.1 seconds.  Positions one through four remained consistent, but the battle for fourth was still hotly contested.  In the north of the island, the order was Coward, Hillier and Cummins, separated by just 1.5 seconds.  McGuinness, Johnson and Browne maintained their positions from eighth to tenth.

 

Final lap – Hickman leaves no stone unturned

Before the third and final lap, Hickman had a comfortable 15.7-second lead over Dunlop, while the winner of Sunday’s RST Superbike race in turn had a 10.1-second advantage over Harrison.  Todd remained in fourth place, with Coward’s lead over Hillier melting to just four-tenths of a second.  Cummins, who was a bit behind due to an illness earlier in the week, was already 4.2 seconds behind Hillier.  McGuinness, Johnson and the returning Herbertson rounded out the top ten.

 

Record pace in final run

Hickman not only set Superstock record pace in the final heat, but also set an overall lap record pace.  He took it easy in the final miles, however, but still posted the fastest lap of the race at 134.331 mph (about 216.19 kph).  More importantly, he secured the win by 23.17 seconds over Dunlop.  Harrison finished another 14.8 seconds back in third place.

 

Finish – a gripping final

Todd easily secured fourth place, while Hillier edged Coward by just 1.3 seconds in the battle for fifth.  Cummins put in a creditable performance to finish seventh, while Johnson, Browne and Shaun Anderson rounded out the top ten.  McGuinness was forced to retire on the final lap at Guthrie’s, while newcomer Ryan Cringle upped his pace on the final lap to 123.898 mph (about 199.41 km/h) to finish 27th.

 

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