A decision by Peter Hickman and the Smiths Racing team to run a hybrid machine in today’s Superbike TT race paid dividends as he posted a near 133mph lap – the fastest of the week so far – as he took victory from Dean Harrison, his third in total around the Mountain Course.
A lack of track time during practice week saw him only manage two laps on the Superbike-spec BMW S1000RR and the decision was made after Sunday’s qualifying session, to run with his Superstock bike instead albeit fitted with the front forks and rear swing arm from the Superbike.
“I had a small issue on Sunday with the Superbike so we went with a hybrid bike with the Superstock electronics and engine – a road engine – with the Superbike front and rear end. The bike worked really well though and we’ll stick with it for the rest of the week,” Hickman told bikesportnews.com.
An opening lap of 132.343mph saw Hickman slot into second place, just 1.1s behind early leader Dean Harrison and although the gap crept out to four seconds at one stage, Hickman put the hammer down second time around and a speed of 132.947mph gave him a lead of 1.782s as they came into the pits for the single stop. With the race ending early, it proved to be the winning margin.
I had a bit more traffic to contend with than I thought on the first lap but I felt strong on the run to Glen Helen and my first pit board at Sulby said ‘P2, -1’ so it was a much better start for me than usual.
“Dean pulled away a bit and I think the biggest gap I saw was four seconds but I pushed on over the Mountain although it was only when I got to the pit stop that I realised I was leading as I missed my pit board at the Bungalow.
“I’m more than happy with the bike and that’s what we’ll use for the Senior but I’m under no illusions that Dean will be quicker then.
“He’s had a good year so far and will have done some studying over the winter months while it sounded like he had a problem or two today so we’ll have to make sure we’re ready for Friday.”