TT 2018: Peter Hickman sets 135mph record on way to Senior glory

Peter Hickman won the Senior TT on the Smiths BMW as he set a new 135mph lap record on Friday.
Peter Hickman won the Senior TT on the Smiths BMW as he set a new 135mph lap record on Friday.

Peter Hickman made history as the Isle of Man TT reached a climax on Friday as he won the PokerStars Senior race with a sensational new lap record of 135mph.

The Smiths BMW rider had chased Dean Harrison throughout the six-lap showpiece and pulled out all the stops on his final circuit, setting a new benchmark of 135.452mph to take his second ever TT win by two seconds.

Dean Harrison had to settle for the runner-up spot as he lost out on a coveted Senior TT win by only two seconds to Peter Hickman.

Dean Harrison had to settle for the runner-up spot as he lost out on a coveted Senior TT win by only two seconds to Peter Hickman.

It was the first ever lap in excess of 135mph around the Mountain Course, which means the TT takes over from the Ulster Grand Prix as the fastest road race in the world.

Harrison, who had set the first ever 134mph lap with a new absolute record of 134.432mph from a standing start in the RST Superbike race, also broke his old record as he completed his final lap with a speed of 134.918mph on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki.

Manx rider Conor Cummins completed the podium on the Padgetts Honda as he finished 1m 40.433s behind, while Michael Dunlop was another 47 seconds behind in fourth on the Tyco BMW, with the Ballymoney man seemingly experiencing some issues as he was well below his best.

Speeds were down on the opening laps due to waved yellow flags at Barregarrow due to an oil spill, but Hickman also set a new race record in a time of 1h 43m 08.065s for the prestigious six-lap race, which more than lived up to expectations.

Manx rider Conor Cummins completed the Senior TT podium after an excellent ride on the Padgetts Honda.

Manx rider Conor Cummins completed the Senior TT podium after an excellent ride on the Padgetts Honda.

Harrison was magnanimous in defeat after the Bradford rider lost time on his final lap behind slower riders.

The 29-year-old had led the race all the way until the Bungalow on the sixth and final lap, when he was caught by the hard-charging Hickman, who added a Senior triumph to his stunning victory in the Superstock race on Monday.

Hickman had established a new outright record of 134.456mph at the end of the fourth lap as he kept up his relentless pursuit of Harrison, before he really upped the ante on his final circuit, cracking the 135mph barrier for the first time despite behind held up by slower riders through Kirk Michael.

Superbike winner Dunlop had been third on lap one at Glen Helen behind Harrison and Hickman, but the Ballymoney man had slipped behind Cummins at Ballaugh and was unable to challenge for the rostrum.

Dunlop held fourth throughout as he finished the race ahead of Norton’s Josh Brookes, while Gary Johnson clinched sixth on the RAF Reserves Kawasaki.

Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW) finished seventh followed by Jamie Coward on the Penz13 BMW, with newcomer Davey Todd finishing the race in a magnificent ninth place on the Burrows Engineering Racing Suzuki.

Todd set his best lap from a standing start at 128.379mph to seal his place as the second fastest TT newcomer ever behind Hickman, who lapped at 129mph on his debut in 2014.

James Hillier, fourth at Glen Helen on the opening lap, retired from the race shortly afterwards. David Johnson was also forced out at the end of lap one on the Gulf BMW, with Honda Racing’s Lee Johnston pulling out after the second lap.