Road Racing News

TT 2019: Hickman Showcases Potential Of Norton’s Striking Superlight Model

Whilst Norton’s challenge in the premier Superbike, Senior classes proved ultra-challenging and character building, the iconic British marque quietly went under the radar and enjoyed better fortunes in last Thursday’s Bennetts Lightweight race.

Although more disappointment for the works squad arose when John McGuinness and Davey Todd were early race retirements, outright Mountain Course lap record holder, five times TT winner Peter Hickman would go onto finish a very creditable eighth.

Along the way topping the 120 mph lap mark, Hickman’s performance was an indication of the potential of Norton’s striking, high profile, highly rated Superlight model.

What makes Hickman’s spirited ride to eighth all the more impressive, is that he went into the three lap Lightweight race with minimal track time, undertaking prior to TT 2019 just one test session aboard the Superlight mount.

Photo by Nick Wheeler

Add in a lack of track time during practice week thanks to the Weather, and you can see why people’s attentions were raised by the 120 mph lap, a top 8 finish, and finishing just over 25 seconds off a podium finish.

Not surprisingly the Superlight model’s performance with Hickman aboard in the Lightweight race, provided the whole Norton team with a much needed boost, after what had been on the whole a tough TT 2019.

Reflecting on Hickman’s feats in the three lap Lightweight race, Norton CEO Stuart Garner, stated via Twitter:

“Huge well done and thank you Peter Hickman. Awesome last lap at 120.26 mph taking 8th in the Lightweight TT. You’ve only done 4 laps on it! Posted 6th fastest lap.”

You have to wonder as to how close Hickman would have got to the rostrum, should practice week had not been as weather influenced.

In my opinion should Hickman and Norton work together again in 2020, and gain track time a plenty ahead of TT 2020, and hit the sweet spot set up wise, the chances of Norton returning to the TT podium finishers circle, will be strong, very strong.

Words by Stevie Rial