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TT 2017: Maiden podium for ‘cautious’ Hickman

Despite 2017 being only his fourth year of competing at the Isle of Man TT, Peter Hickman came into the opening Superbike race as one of the pre-race favourites and he didn't disappoint, taking second on the Smiths Racing BMW for his first ever TT podium as he pushed eventual winner Ian Hutchinson all the way, particularly on the final lap.

The 30-year had a slightly steady start and was back in fifth at the end of the first lap but a lap later he was up to third and this became second with two laps to go. Closing to within 1.6s of Hutchinson, Hickman's maiden TT win was within grasp but, as always, Hutchinson was strong up and down the Mountain to take the win. Nevertheless, Hickman was delighted with second.

"I'm well happy with my first ever TT podium especially as I thought I should have had it in last year’s Senior race," he said afterwards. "I had no such problems this year and although I was a bit steady, like always, at the beginning of the race, I gradually got into the race.


“The lack of practice has affected us all and we’re not lapping as quick as what we were doing last year and although I got to within two seconds of Hutchy, I knew how strong he’d be over the Mountain.”

This is the first year, the Louth-based rider has used pitboards around the Mountain Course, which was obviously a good move given the close proximity of the race and gaps between the podium positions. They both helped and hindered him whilst he also recognises the need to be quicker from the start but a final lap of 131.103mph, the second fastest lap of the race, shows a TT win isn’t far away.

"Because of my experience, I'm always a bit cautious at the start of a race and it takes me a while to get into the swing of things. I like building my way up and once I'm happy with everything and feeling comfortable I can push on whilst I've never had anyone doing boards for me before.

“I certainly got a little bit excited when I saw my pitboard on the last lap saying 'P2, -2' but everyone knows Hutchy is the master over the Mountain. I just rode as hard as I could. I lost a bit of time at the pits, but the boys did a good job and the last thing I want to do is get a penalty and drop further down the order.

“We've changed the bike quite a bit from the North West 200 and it never missed a beat. The Dunlop tyres were mega and the work we've done with the Ohlins guys was spot on so it’s a great start to the week.”

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