2022 Isle of Man TT | Hickman cruises to Superbike TT win, Irwin rookie record

Peter Hickman secures his sixth TT victory with a dominant showing in the first 2022 Isle of Man TT race of the week in the Superbike class

Peter Hickman - Gas Monkey FHO BMW


Peter Hickman lived up to his billing as 2022 Isle of Man TT favourite by powering to a dominant victory in the Superbike TT, the first of eight races to take place on the Mountain Course this week.

The pace setter coming into race week in the Superbike ranks aboard the Gas Monkey FHO BMW M 1000 RR, Hickman romped to the head of the leaderboard from the first split and was never headed thereafter.

While his best speed of 133.461mph fell short of the record belonging to him that many were tipping him to break, it was symptomatic of the sheer advantage he held over the competition throughout.

Indeed, having missed out on the Senior TT win in 2019 because of technical issues, Hickman focused on building a lead over the first half of the race, leaving the pits for the second time armed with a 40secs advantage over Dean Harrison.

Choosing to take it easier over the final two laps, Hickman crossed the line 39.119secs up on Harrison, who brought it home for another podium on the DAO Kawasaki after shaking off the threat from Michael Dunlop, who completed the podium on the Hawk Suzuki.

With Harrison second out of the gate, it didn’t take long for him to lead on the road after relieving John McGuinness of his position. However, having looked comfortable in second behind Hickman over the first couple of laps, Dunlop rallied hard during the second stint, making the most of a tow from an advancing Hickman to get to within six seconds of overhauling his rival.

However, Harrison upped the pace on the final lap to repel Dunlop by 18secs at the flag.

Several anticipated front runners retired early on, including both Milenco Padgetts Honda riders Davey Todd and Connor Cummins, plus Lee Johnston, the trio having been circulating inside the top five at the time of their exits.

This paved the way for Ian Hutchinson to snatch a surprise - if distant - fourth place finish, the Milwaukee BMW rider showing strong form early to help him prevail in a close four-way fight that ebbed and flowed throughout.

John McGuinness toasted his 100th Superbike TT start with a fine run to fifth place, the Morecome Missile looking resplendent on the golden-themed Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade as he steadfastly held off Jamie Coward, the KTS Yamaha rider nonetheless becoming the latest rider to join the 130mph-plus club in an excellent sixth place finish.

OMG Racing Yamaha’s James Hillier secured seventh place, only a short distance up on Glenn Irwin, who produced an excellent performance to claim eighth on his Superbike TT debut, in so doing becoming the fastest TT newcomer of all-time, his 129.849mph easily out-pacing Peter Hickman’s erstwhile benchmark of 129.104mph.

Shaun Anderson and Dominic Herbertson completed the top ten positions, ahead of Michael Rutter and another strong rookie performer, Nathan Harrison.