When great sportsman finally emerge victorious in their sport’s showpiece event, series or championship, it’s not at all a surprise, but it’s most definitely a relief to the competitor accomplishing their chosen goal.
This was just one of the emotions for Peter Hickman, who after many near misses joined in June, the TT winners circle.
The momentous race that vaulted the laid back, calm, cool Hickman into the TT winners fraternity, was a quite compelling, ultra competitive Royal London 360 Quantum Superstock race.
Making up an early over shooting error at Braddan Bridge, the remainder of the first lap of the race saw a now fired up Hickman quickly place himself back in contention for race honours.
Just 3.3 seconds behind second placed Michael Dunlop at the end of lap 1, lap two would see the versatile Smiths Racing rider create a unique moment of sporting history, by becoming setting a new outright class lap record of 134.077 mph, which was only marginally slower than the at the time outright lap record!
Hickman’s historic feat gave him a now slender race lead of 1.2 seconds over Silicone Engineering Racing’s Harrison, as the scheduled pit stops beckoned for the front runners. Following the scheduled pit stop, it was RST Superbike champion Dunlop who was now into the race lead, following a slow pit stop for now previous race leader Hickman.
Soon though the BSB showdown contender hit the groove again, quickly reeling in Dunlop, taking the race lead at Ramsey Hairpin, then losing it, then regaining it at Cronk Ny Mona, which he then was just able to maintain to the start finish line, holding at the end of lap 3 an advantage of only half a second.
Onto the fourth and final lap, and what a final lap this was. 1.3 seconds clear at Glen Helen, Hickman’s race lead was then trimmed to under 0.2 of a second at Ramsey Hairpin.
Over the mountain and Hickman known for having a great temperament, found another gear as he pulled two seconds clear at the Bungalow, which then grew to 4.6 seconds at Cronk Ny Mona. From here he kept his cool to go onto seal a quite brilliant maiden TT victory by 4.4 seconds.
Having banked prior to Superstock success, six event podium finishes, it was a huge relief for a delighted Hickman in parc ferme to clinch a long awaited first TT triumph.
Lots of racers first TT wins arise in different circumstances, for the hugely respected Hickman he had to work and some for race honours, holding off the challenges of two International roads maestros, Dean Harrison and fellow S1000RR BMW mounted competitor Michael Dunlop.
Words by Stevie Rial