Peter Hickman has claimed his 14th TT victory in the thrilling RST Superbike TT race on the Isle of Man, equaling Mike Hailwood's record.  The rider from the Monster Energy BMW team of FHO Racing took the lead on the last lap and won by 5.84 seconds ahead of Davey Todd (Milwaukee BMW) and Dean Harrison (Honda Racing), who finished third.

A race full of excitement

The race was one of the most exciting in recent years.  Michael Dunlop (MasterMac by Hawk/MD Racing Honda) originally led by 25 seconds until a problem with his visor after the second pit stop forced him to stop on Bray Hill.  This dropped him back to fourth place.

 

Start of the race

The race started on time at 14:40 in near perfect conditions on the Mountain Course.  Todd initially led Glen Helen by just 0.037 seconds ahead of Hickman.  Harrison, Dunlop, Hickman’s team-mate Josh Brookes and James Hillier (WTF Racing Honda) followed closely behind, with just 3.5 seconds separating the top six.  However, Brookes had to retire from Handley’s shortly afterwards after his chain came off.

 

Lead change and first lap

Todd maintained his lead at Ballaugh, just 0.166 seconds ahead of Harrison.  Dunlop was now in third place, while Hickman dropped back to fourth.  At Ramsey, Todd had extended his lead over Harrison to 1.18 seconds, while Hickman was the fastest rider from Ballaugh to Ramsey.  James Hind and Shaun Anderson also had to end the race early.

 

An impressive opening lap of 134.417 mph gave Todd a lead of 2.2 seconds over Dunlop (134.118 mph).  Harrison followed at 134.048 mph and Hickman was fourth at 133.754 mph.  Hillier and Jamie Coward (KTS Racing) finished fifth and sixth.

 

Dunlop catching up

Dunlop was the fastest driver at Glen Helen and reduced Todd’s lead to 1.5 seconds.  Hickman caught up with Harrison, but lost another second on the leaders.  Dunlop took the lead over Ballaugh Bridge and extended it to 4.4 seconds by Ramsey.

 

Further lead changes

On the second lap, Dunlop set a new sector record and reached a speed of 135.543 mph, extending his lead to nine seconds.  Hickman, now in second place at 134.701 mph, was just four tenths ahead of Todd (133.980 mph).  Harrison dropped further back with 133.234 mph, while Coward and Hillier defended fifth and sixth place.

 

Pit stop and more drama

Hickman lost time at the pit stop and dropped back to third, five seconds behind Todd and nine seconds behind Dunlop.  Harrison overtook Dunlop on the track and took the lead.  Dunlop steadily extended his lead and was 17.3 seconds ahead of Todd at the halfway point of the race, while Hickman was four seconds behind his BMW colleague.  Cummins, Crowe and Hodson had to retire from the race.

 

Final laps and decisive moments

On the fourth lap, Dunlop increased his lead to 25.1 seconds before a visor problem after the pit stop cost him valuable time.  He dropped back to fourth place, while Harrison took the lead.  Hickman was only 1.1 seconds behind Harrison and Todd followed ten seconds behind.

 

Final lap and victory

On the final lap, Hickman came out on top with a speed of 135.534 mph and won by 5.8 seconds ahead of Todd.  Harrison completed the podium, while Dunlop, despite setting a new Superbike lap record of 135.970 mph, finished in fourth place.

 

Final placings

Hillier secured fifth place, 2.8 seconds ahead of McGuinness, who in turn was just 0.2 seconds ahead of Coward.  The top ten field was completed by Browne (INCompetition Aprilia), Michael Rutter (Bathams Ales BMW) and Brian McCormack (Roadhouse Macau by FHO BMW).

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