Peter Hickman completed a hat-trick of wins at the Isle of Man TT on Wednesday as he took victory in the three-lap Supertwin race - his first-ever win in the class - on the VAS Engine Racing Paton.
The victory came hot on the heels of his success in the Superbike and Superstock races earlier in the week and moves him on to a career total of eight wins and 18 podiums.
It was his hardest win of the week though as he was locked in battle with similarly mounted Michael Dunlop for the first two laps. Less than a second separated the duo in each sector, only getting as high as 0.8s and getting as low as just 0.04s, with the lead exchanging hands constantly.
Going into the final lap, Hickman had got back in front albeit by just 0.565s but the chances of a nail-biting finish came to an end when Dunlop slowed through Laurel Bank. The Ulsterman stopped to make adjustments and proceeded only to get black flagged in Sulby.
Hickman set the fastest lap of the race, 121.293mph, on the last lap and came home a massive 1'49.2s ahead of Lee Johnston (Ashcourt Racing Aprilia). Hickman’s team-mate Pierre Yves Bian took fourth in what’s his first appearance at the TT.
“It was a tight race and I’m not sure what happened to Michael,” Hickman said afterwards. “He must have stopped at Laurel Bank as when I went through there on the last lap, he was just pulling away from the side of the road.
“Even to be close to him on a little bike was awesome and a massive thing as he’s always so quick on the little bikes; we saw it in Monday’s 600cc race and will no doubt see it again in the second Supersport race. It’s a shame he didn’t make it to the end.
“It was really windy up on the Mountain, not horrendously so, but the headwind along the Mountain Mile really slowed down the little bike. I’m so happy for Vito who owns the bike and so many other people have helped including Martimotos and Smiths. To get the win is awesome and although he just missed out on the podium, I’m so pleased for Pierre, fourth place is mega.”
The win means Hickman is just the second rider, after Dunlop, to win at least one race in the Superbike, Senior, Supersport, Superstock and Supertwin categories.