Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

Ben­netts Suzuki boss Stu­art Hicken de­scribed the short­ened Se­nior TT as “the most stress­ful four laps of my life.”

“I know we’ve done it but to do it with a bike that has only done three races is in­cred­i­ble. It’s hard work bring­ing a new bike here and we could not have done it with­out Michael Dun­lop. No other rider could do that.”

Hicken joined forces with Michael Dun­lop when the Bal­ly­money racer split with Honda at the end of 2013. To­gether they gave BMW the com­pany’s first TT suc­cess in 75 years. Af­ter Hicken’s team lost its of­fi­cial BMW team sta­tus in 2015, Dun­lop had a brief but dis­as­trous flir­ta­tion with Mil­wau­kee Yamaha be­fore re­join­ing the squad mid-tt. Last sea­son Dun­lop did the Su­per­bike/ Se­nior dou­ble for a sec­ond time on Hicken’s BMWS be­fore the squad shifted to Suzuki this sea­son.

Hicken ad­mit­ted he had doubted the wis­dom of the change dur­ing TT 2017. “I did start doubt­ing whether we’d do it,” he said af­ter watch­ing Dun­lop spray the Se­nior vic­tory cham­pagne.

“Everybody had to dig deep. We had to cut the fuel back a lot to fin­ish the race. I was al­ways con­cerned about what would hap­pen if we were go­ing to go into the un­known of 134mph laps. We didn’t want to count our chick­ens.”

The Suzuki’s en­gine fail­ure in the Su­per­bike race gave Hicken even more cause for con­cern. “The first Su­per­bike race looked like it would be easy as no­body, other than Mic­a­hel, had any pace,” he said.

“We tell Michael the truth and he tells us the truth. We give 100%, he gives 100%. We can’t give any more. Af­ter this we’re all knack­ered and no doubt he is as well. As long as you’re do­ing that you can’t do any more.”

‘There is no way that we could have won with any other rider’

Pit­stops were smooth by the Hawk Rac­ing team

Team look on as Dun­lop cel­e­brates by toasting a tyre

Mar­shals hurry over to the stricken racer. Hutchy air-lifted to Noble’s where he is said to be re­cov­er­ing

...by the time he and the bike come to rest on the other side of the track, red flags are be­ing read­ied

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