Isle of Man TT 2023: Hickman bounces back for dominant Superstock win
Peter Hickman has bounced back from a tough start to the 2023 Isle of Man TT to dominate Tuesday’s delayed Superstock race for his 10th career victory.
Hickman enjoyed two podiums in the first two races of the 2023 event, but was resoundingly beaten by Michael Dunlop in the Supersport and Superbike TTs.
The Englishman admitted that he battled brake and quickshifter problems on his FHO Racing BMW Superbike in the race, and has faced issues on the M1000RR in that trim throughout practice.
But on the Superstock version of that bike, Hickman – who later said he hasn’t ridden the bike since Wednesday’s practice - was unbeatable, leading for all but one sector of the three-lap race to claim his first win of TT 2023 and his 10th overall.
Low-hanging mist over the mountain forced the Superstock race to be postponed from 11:45am local time to 2:45pm.
Dunlop on his MD Racing Honda set the initial pace to Glen Helen on the opening lap, leading by 0.650 seconds from Hickman, with DAO Racing’s Dean Harrison a further 1.6s behind.
But on the run to Ballaugh Bridge, Hickman had gained time on Dunlop and led by 2.2s as the Ulsterman found himself struggling to overtake OMG Racing’s James Hillier.
Into Ramsey, Hickman’s lead stood at 3.3s from Dunlop, though he lost time passing the Padgetts Honda of Davey Todd and was only 2.7s out front on corrected time as he headed for his mandatory fuel stop at the end of the tour.
A solid stop from his FHO Racing squad allowed Hickman to take a lead of 5.3s through Glen Helen at the start of lap two as Dunlop continued to bleed time.
Across the rest of the second lap, Hickman grew his advantage over Dunlop to 15.7s and came under no threat across the last tour.
Michael Dunlop, Superstock
Photo by: ttracesofficial/Pacemaker Press
Even encountering traffic on his last lap, Hickman’s lead didn’t drop and he took the chequered flag 23.171s clear of Dunlop.
A massive stand-up wheelie across the start/finish line meant Hickman’s lap was recorded at 134.331mph, denying him the chance to beat his own class lap record of 134.403mph.
Dunlop’s runner-up spot in the Superstock class had ended his hopes of winning all eight races in the week and has delayed him surpassing John McGuinness’ record of 23 victories.
Harrison scored another podium on his Kawasaki, albeit 14.827s behind Dunlop, with Todd a distant fourth on his Padgetts Honda.
Hillier completed the top five on his OMG Yamaha from the KTS Racing Honda of Jamie Coward, while the returning Conor Cummins – who hasn’t been on his Padgetts Hondas since Wednesday having been hospitalised with an infection – was seventh.
McGuinness looked on course for a top eight finish on his works Honda, but retired on the mountain section on the last lap.
Tuesday’s Supertwins race has been delayed to 6:30pm local time.
Picture credit @ttracesofficial/Pacemaker Press
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