HUNGRY HICKMAN SO CLOSE
FIRST PODIUM Fast-learning BSB star fights for win in epic Superbike TT with Hutchy and Harrison
BSB star Peter Hickman had to settle for second place after an epic battle with Ian Hutchinson in the opening Superbike TT.
The Smith’s BMW rider came through from a slow start to make a dramatic last-lap challenge, but eventually lost out by just five seconds after nearly 230 miles of superclose racing.
“I was my usual self on the first lap, lying down in seventh at Glen Helen,” he smiled as he explained his steady start. “I tend to take a little bit of time to get into things, especially on the big bikes around here. It is mainly because I have not got that much experience so I am always a little bit cautious. If I wasn’t such a fanny on the first lap I might have won!”
Although he lost time to Hutchy through slower pitstops, Hickman laid no blame at his team’s door.
“The bike worked mint and the boys did a great job,” he said.
“They were slower in the pitstop but it is what it is and it’s easier to lose time by rushing than it is to gain time by being really fast. I never really rush into the pitlane or out of it, the last thing I want to do is go over that 60kph limit because we know what happens then.”
Still in only his fourth year on the Mountain course, the 30-year-old suffered from the lack of track time caused by bad weather more than most during practice week.
“It was a shame we have not had a massive amount of time on the bikes this week, but it’s the same for everyone,” he added.
Tipped as a possible race winner after becoming the fourth fastest TT rider of all-time in 2016 with a 132.495mph lap, Hickman feels he is getting close to the top step.
“I felt like I should have had a podium, especially in the Senior last year, but unfortunately I got let down by the bike.
“I had to do it this year. It’s mega to get a podium and to start it with a big bike podium is even better.”
The Burton-on-trent man feels there is still has more to come.
“I was still a fair chunk of time away from the front today, especially on those first laps, so we will start working towards sorting that out for the rest of the week.”