Peter Hickman was denied a fourth win at the 2019 Isle of Man TT Races on Friday morning, when a technical issue forced him to slow his pace on the penultimate lap of the six-lap Senior race.
Aided by two 134mph+ laps on laps one and two - the two laps within 0.022s of each other - the Smiths Racing BMW rider had opened up an 18s second lead over Dean Harrison at two-thirds race distance but as he left the pits to start lap five, the Superbike started throwing water out over him, the same problem having blighted him through practice week.
“The bike ran awesome for four laps and I’d opened up a healthy lead but after the second pit stop, the temperature of the bike just shot up and when I went down Bray Hill, the bike started to chuck water out at me,” he explained afterwards.
It’s the same issue we’ve had all fortnight and it just makes no sense at all – the team have turned the bike upside down and replaced everything but we still can’t work it out.
“After that, I had to ride at half throttle for the final two laps and not rev the bike more than 11,000rpm so it wasn’t easy.”
The final two laps saw him lose up to eight seconds through each sector and at one stage, it looked like he wouldn’t make it to the finish but he perservered and was rewarded with second place which gave him the Joey Dunlop TT Championship for the second time.
However, he wasn’t overly pleased with the organisation having been forced to use his Superbike machine rather than the hybrid he’d used for the Superbike race.
The team had tried different engines, radiators and electronics with the Superbike but still couldn’t get to the bottom of the issues but had their hand by the technical regulations. After winning the Superstock race, the bike was stripped at scrutineering and with not enough spare parts to build the hybrid, he was forced to run the Superbike S1000RR instead.
I wanted to run the hybrid bike again as we were still weren’t sure about the Superbike and we asked if the Superstock engine could be sealed until after the Senior but the scrutineers wouldn’t allow that so thanks to them for ruining my Senior race.
“It is what it is though and it’s swings and roundabouts at this place. Dean had an issue in the Superbike race and it was my turn today but although I’m disappointed not to have won today, I’ve had a mega week and with three wins and two more podiums, I can’t complain.”