Road Racing News lead road racer of 2018 award goes to, drum roll, TT Races lap record holder Peter Hickman.
Already established amongst the world’s leading International Road Racers, the 2018 season has seen the laid back, calm, cool Hickman become for thousands worldwide, roads aficionados a plenty the no.1 road racer worldwide.
At a glance Hickman’s quite incredible International roads CV from 2018 includes victories at all four International roads events, ten podium finishes and in total six race wins.
Obviously when looking back on Hickman’s prodigious season, we can’t but not focus upon his exploits at TT 2018.
After an early retirement from the RST Superbike race, the remainder of race week yielded nothing but historical, ground breaking, acclaimed achievements.
Third within the opening Monster Energy Supersport encounter, the corresponding Royal London 360 Quantum Superstock race would see him finally join the TT winners circle.
His maiden TT victory was made all the more significant, given the fact that on the opening lap of the race he made an early error at Braddan Bridge, overshooting the corner and losing seconds a plenty to the likes of Dean Harrison and Michael Dunlop.
Despite the drama at Braddan Bridge, it made no difference to Smiths Racing’s Hickman who quickly regained his composure and by lap 2 was in prime contention again for race honours. From here it was a battle royal with fellow Mountain Course magicians Harrison and Dunlop.
The fourth and final lap of one of the best TT races in history, would see Hickman have enough guile, pace, gritty race craft to gain him a first TT triumph by just 4.4 seconds, plus join the record books in setting the first ever 134 mph plus lap by a Superstock machine on the fabled Mountain Course.
Following the sizzling Superstock encounter, attentions then turned to the second Monster Energy Supersport race, which saw the TROOPER Triumph never miss a beat for ‘Hicky’, who banked a third second successive podium finish, finishing a gallant runner up to race victor Dean Harrison.
Silicone Engineering Racing’s Harrison would go onto be a formal cast member, in a quite scintillating last lap battle with Hickman for Pokerstars Senior race honours.
After five laps of fierce, close fought competition, the final lap of TT 2018 would yield Hickman a place amongst the true greats, legends of the TT Races, as the BSB showdown contender claimed in record breaking fashion the blue riband Senior title, lapping the Mountain Course at a scarcely believable 135.452 mph.
In the race winners enclosure, you could just sense the excitement of the Smiths team, his family members at his tumultuous achievements.
It wouldn’t be till August, till road race fans had the chance to see the new world’s fastest road racer back in closed roads action, as he ventured back to the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix.
As at TT 2018, it was nothing but positives for Hickman who proved unbeatable aboard the TROOPER Triumph in the second Supersport encounter of race week, prior to claiming for the first time feature Ulster GP Superbike honours.
Additionally second, fifth within the Superstock, opening Supersport races, he backed up and some the record breaking form from TT 2018.
Last month Macau GP champion for the third time, Hickman who’s 2018 racing CV also includes Superstock success at the North West 200, has been in my opinion unquestionably the leading International road racer of 2018.
Staying with the Smiths Racing BMW team for 2019, it’s going to take remarkable performances a plenty from his fellow roads aliens next year, to stop him enjoying more prodigious roads feats.
Words by Stevie Rial