Hickman gets win in red-flagged RST Superbike TT race
Peter Hickman took the honours in today’s RST Superbike TT Race, which was red-flagged at just over half-distance.
After delays for a non-race medical emergency in Ramsey and an uncooperative fan at Laurel Bank, the flag dropped for Conor Cummins to get the 4-lap RST Superbike TT Race underway.
Although the ‘Ramsey Rocket’ was first on the road Dean Harrison, who led the 2018 Superbike race until his bike expired at Sulby, was the leader by Glen Helen on adjusted timing.
Peter Hickman was off to an almost equally quick start, trailing Harrison by just 1.150 seconds despite a very mixed practice week. Quattro Plant Wicked Coatings ’s James Hillier slotted into third place, ahead of Cummins, who was in turn in front of Michael Dunlop.
Honda RC213V-S mounted Michael Rutter took the exotic Batham’s Racing V-4 machine into sixth spot at Glen Helen on Lap 1.
By Ramsey on lap 1 Cummins had overhauled Hillier trailing Hickman by 3.819 seconds, otherwise the top six remained unchanged.
In very blustery conditions Harrison held his lead through the Bungalow, with a gap of 1.556 seconds over Peter Hickman, although Hickman stretched his cushion over Cummins to 4.176 seconds.
Dean’s first lap of 132.47mph was the fastest recorded lap of TT 2019 so far.
John McGuinness brought the Norton Superbike into the pits at the end of the first lap, walking away from the machine after a brief discussion with the team. Low oil pressure was diagnosed as the problem.
Derek McGee was another early retirement, touring over the line and heading back to the paddock at the end of the first circuit.
Michael Dunlop slipped to sixth, behind Michael Rutter but holding a lead of 6.294seconds over leading privateer Jamie Coward.
On the run from Glen Helen to Ballaugh Bridge – the fast and sinuous West of the TT Mountain Course – Harrison produced a phenomenal performance to extend his lead over Hickman to 4.841 seconds.
It was Hickman’s turn to produce the magic on the climb from Ramsey, by the Bungalow the gap was down to just 0.045 seconds and Cummins regained the lead on the road over Harrison.
Hickman won the race down the mountain, with a lead of 1.782 seconds coming into the pits, and held the lead through to Ballaugh.
Lee Johnston retired at the pit stop.
The race was red-flagged due to an incident at Snugborough and the result was declared shortly afterwards.
Peter Hickman won, Dean Harrison took second place and Conor Cummins held on to third.
Speaking after the race Peter confirmed he'd been riding a 'hybrid' of his Superstock bike frame and engine with Superbike front and rear ends in order to overcome issues experienced during qualifying.
Photo credit: RP Watkinson