TT 2022: First Twins Class Success For Relentless Hickman

TT 2022: First Twins Class Success For Relentless Hickman
With overnight rain, various damp patches, fog across the Mountain, not surprisingly competitive action today on Manx shores was delayed.

Post subtle updates, it was disclosed during the morning that the reduced in distance, three-lap Bennetts Super Twins race would commence at 3:00 PM.

Lap 1:

Number one plate holder Jamie Coward, considered by many a prime contender for race honours was first to speed down Bray Hill.

Aiming for a hat-trick of Twins class titles, SC Project Paton’s Michael Dunlop led the field at Glen Helen, heading fellow Paton runner Peter Hickman by 0.810 of a second.

KTS Racing’s Coward held third, only 0.934 behind Hickman whilst P4 was held by Team ILR with Mark Coverdale’s Jim Hind.

It was roles reversal at Ballaugh Bridge with Hickman taking the lead, moving 0.849 in front of Dunlop.

Hebden Bridge’s Coward kept third but was now 5.2 seconds adrift of Dunlop.

Early high-profile retirements included Gary Johnson and Brian McCormack.

Just over half a second covered Hickman and Dunlop at Ramsey Hairpin, Coward third was now 8.7 in arrears.

Dunlop regained the race lead over Hickman at the Bungalow, leading by only 0.081 of a second.

Another race lead change arose at Cronk Ny Mona, as Hickman took P1 from Dunlop.

Remarkably by the end of lap one, Ballymoney’s Dunlop lapping 120 mph plus had overhauled Hickman, leading by just under one second.

Coward held a tight grip on third as Ashcourt Racing’s Lee Johnston, Manx GP winner Hind, IRRC Supersport Champion Pierre Yves Bian finalised the top six.

Lap 2:

Post the mandatory pit-stops, Hickman was back into lead at Glen Helen, moving 0.81 ahead of Supersport lap record holder Dunlop.

There was soon disappointment for Junior Classic TT winner Coward, who’s podium finishing charge ended, via a blown engine.

Additional confirmed retirements included newcomer Joe Loughlin and Italian star Stefano Bonetti.

Incredibly at Ballaugh only 0.042 was all that could separate Dunlop, Hickman’s overall race-times, who would lead as the third and final lap beckoned?

The answer was world’s fastest road racer Hickman, leading by just 0.564 over 20 times TT Champion Dunlop.

Following Coward’s retirement, Johnston occupied third as Yves Bian, PreZ Racing’s Paul Jordan, Hind rounded out the top six.

Lap 3:

This thrilling battle for race spoils between 21st Century TT greats Hickman and Dunlop, ultimately ended after technical gremlins struck Dunlop’s Paton steed.

57 seconds to the good at Glen Helen, Hickman looked good for making it a hat-trick of victories at TT 2022.

With Dunlop’s challenge ending, RS660 Aprilia mounted Johnston jumped up to P2 whilst the battle for the final spot on the podium was boiling up nicely.

As Hickman aboard the VAS Engine Racing Paton crossed the line to take TT win number eight, set a new Twins TT race-record, all eyes were on who would join him on the rostrum.

Twice Steve Henshaw Gold Cup Champion Johnston took second whilst claiming his first TT podium, finishing third was top Kawasaki runner, PreZ Racing’s Jordan.

Yves Bian placed an impressive fourth with positions P5, P6 going to Rutter and Dafabet Racing’s Rob Hodson.

Wrapping up the first ten finishers were double Manx-GP winner Hind, Cowton Racing’s Dominic Herbertson, HeatTech Racing’s Michael Evans and Optimark Road Racing’s Xavier Denis.

Remaining finishers, many scoring personal best TT results, were as follows:

Barry Furber (11th), Paul ‘Potchy’ Williams (12th), Jonathan Perry (13th), Jonathan Goetschy (14th).

Raul Torras Martinez (15th), Forest Dunn (16th), Michael Russell (17th), Timothee Monot (18th).

Anthony Redmond (19th), VRS Racing’s Pete Murray (20th), Julian Trummer (21st), Dave Hewson (22nd).

Dave Madsen Mygdal (23rd), Masayuki Yamanaka (24th), Matt Mylchreest (25th), TT debutant Craig Szczypek (26th), Jason Burrill (27th).

Photo credit: Mark Corlett, Nick Wheeler

Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou
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