Dean Harrison finished as the runner-up on the DAO Racing Kawasaki, 39 seconds behind, with Northern Ireland’s Michael Dunlop rounding out the top three on the Hawk Racing Suzuki, 18 seconds further back.
Honda Racing UK’s Glenn Irwin set the fastest ever lap by a newcomer on the sixth lap at 129.85mph as he finished in eighth in his first-ever TT race. Hickman previously held the record at 129.104mph set in the 2014 Senior.
Race winner Hickman set the fastest lap of the race at 133.461mph on his second lap and established a new race record for the six-lap Superbike TT in 1h 43m 58.564s, bettering Dunlop’s previous 2018 record by around 15 seconds.
Manx Grand Prix: Michael Dunlop gears up for Classic Superbike victory bid on new Team Classic Suzuki GSX-R750
Paul Doolin's focus shift from firefighting to foundations
‘Remember the sabbath day...’: Northern Ireland’s biggest Protestant church voices worries over Sunday football as Linfield gets ready to clash with Portadown
Organisers hope returning Mid-Antrim 150 will become permanent fixture on Irish road racing calendar again
James Singleton soaking up every minute of Glentoran life
In a race of attrition, Milenco by Padgett’s Honda riders Davey Todd and Conor Cummins both failed to finish after running in contention for the podium, while Lee Johnston was also forced out on his Ashcourt Racing BMW while holding fifth at the end of lap two.
Hickman on the Gas Monkey Garage BMW M1000RR had set the pace in qualifying and he quickly took control of the first TT race since 2019, pulling a gap of 6.1s on Harrison by Ramsey on lap one.
Todd was only a few thousandths of a second down in third with Cummins 0.7s adrift of his team-mate, while Dunlop was a further four seconds in arrears.
After an opening lap of 133.18mph, Hickman increased his advantage to 9.3s over Harrison (131.97mph), with Cummins only 0.7s behind the Kawasaki rider in third after edging ahead of Todd by 1.1s. Dunlop was now 6.4s behind Todd and over six seconds ahead of Fermanagh rider Johnston.
On the second lap, the news came through that Todd had retired at Sulby, with team boss Clive Padgett later confirming that the 26-year-old had pulled in due to a problem with his rear Dunlop tyre. Minutes later and Cummins was also out with an issue, although it is unclear if this was the result of a tyre problem.
Hickman was now in command by 16.8s from Harrison following the fastest lap of the race at 133.461mph as he came in for his first pit-stop, while Dunlop was promoted to third, 17.7s behind Harrison. Johnston was up to fourth on his BMW, 5.3s ahead of OMG Yamaha’s James Hillier.
With half of the 226-mile race distance completed at the end of lap three, Hickman held a cushion of 22.8s over Harrison, who was comfortable in second place, 18.5s ahead of Dunlop. However, Johnston retired at Quarterbridge on lap three, with 23-time winner John McGuinness moving up to fourth on the Honda Racing UK Fireblade as he made his 100th TT start.
Hickman, who started at number 10, was now ahead of Dunlop on the road, who set off at number six. With the race leader as a target, Dunlop began to close the deficit to Harrison in second, reducing the deficit to only six seconds by the end of the fourth lap as he kept Hickman in his sights.
Another round of pit-stops followed, with Hickman’s advantage up to 36.5s over Harrison, who was being caught on the time sheets by Dunlop. McGuinness was still holding fourth, 1m 25s behind Dunlop, but the Morecambe rider was coming under pressure from Milwaukee BMW’s Ian Hutchinson.
Dunlop lost a few seconds during the pit-stop and on the penultimate lap, Harrison began to stretch his advantage over the Ballymoney man, keeping him at bay by 8.3s at the end of the fifth lap, with Hickman 40 seconds in the lead and on course for the first victory of TT 2022.
A textbook final lap at 132.67mph wrapped up a deserved win for Hickman by 39.2s over Harrison, who was 18.4s clear of Dunlop at the finish.
Hutchinson overhauled McGuinness for fourth, over two minutes further adrift, with the Honda rider 10s down on Hutchinson in fifth spot.
Yorkshire’s Jamie Coward (KTS/Steadplan Yamaha) got the better of Hillier for sixth. Coward also joined the 130mph club for the first time.
Carrick man Irwin was next ahead of fellow Northern Ireland rider Shaun Anderson (Crendon by Hawk Racing Suzuki), while Dominic Herbertson completed the top ten on his BMW.