TT stars start season in style
Monday, April 11, 2016
Peter Hickman and Ian Hutchinson, both seeded in the top twenty for the superbike races at 2016 Isle of Man TT Fuelled by Monster Energy got their seasons off to strong starts over the weekend.
Both TT stars were in action in different classes at the first British Superbike Championship meeting at Silverstone.
Hickman, riding for JG Speedfit Kawasaki, put the disappointment of a retirement in race one behind him to take a battling win in the second race.
A good start saw him dicing with veteran campaigner Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne until the very last corner of the race when Shakey’s Ducati tied itself into a bit of a knot and Hickman scored a dream start to season with a win by just 0.099 seconds.
Hicky said his team had really got behind him after the frustrating start to the day “the JG Speedfit crew did a fantastic job and put the Kawasaki back together again. It absolutely never missed a beat in race two so it's good to give them a win as the boys have worked long hours to get the Kawasaki working so well for me. Thanks to all my sponsors and team, they have all stood by me and it's nice to be able to repay them with a win today."
Meanwhile at the same meeting Ian Hutchinson, winner of three races at TT 2015, put his Tyco BMW superstock on the podium on his first competitive outing for the team.
Racing in the National Superstock championship he took his S1000RR stocker to third place. After the race a clearly delighted Hutchy tweeted “6 years on from getting air lifted out of Silverstone I get a podium there Thank you so much all [email protected] team.”
TT and BSB stalwart Michael Rutter finished fifth in the same race with Bruce Anstey and Dean Harrison, both getting in some precious bike time before the start of the road racing season, finished further down the results sheet.
Rising road racing talent Martin Jessopp took 17th and 18th in the Superbike races but 11-time TT winner Michael Dunlop had a more frustrating day with DNFs in both superbike races.
Across the channel the Jackson Racing team of Conor Cummins, Steve Mercer and John McGuinness also had to contend with the disappointment of not reaching the finishing line as they had to pull out of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Moto.
Having enduring a freezing night of racing in difficult conditions the team had passed the halfway mark before having to throw in the towel.
The pill was even more bitter for popular Austrian TT rider Horst Saiger whose team were running in 2nd place in the race before a shattered gear punctured the gearbox and brought the race to a premature end.
Although it is no doubt a great disappointment the riders have at least put in a lot of time in the saddle; good preparation for the season ahead.
Peter Hickman photo copyright Dave Yeomans