PETER Hickman and the Gas Monkey Garage by FHO Racing team powered to a stunning Senior TT victory to make it a hat-trick of wins at the 2022 Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy.
Riding the BMW M1000RR, Hickman led from start to finish to win Saturday’s race by 16.918s from Dean Harrison. And following his success in the Supertwin race, it was Hickman’s fourth win of the event as he became just the fourth rider in history to achieve four in a week as he celebrated his ninth TT win.
Originally scheduled to take place on Friday afternoon, the race was pushed back to an 11am start on Saturday and although windy conditions over the Mountain presented a major challenge, the race went ahead on time and over the full six laps with a first lap speed of 132.381mph giving Hickman an 8.362sec lead over Harrison.
On lap two, he upped his pace to 132.627mph, which proved to be the fastest lap of the race and helped increase his advantage over his Kawasaki rival to 14.6sec. After a slightly longer pit stop to take on the necessary amount of fuel, the gap reduced initially on lap three but by half race distance, it was back up to 18.6sec.
With the wind continuing to cause problems over the Mountain, speeds were slightly reduced in the second half but with two more 130mph+ laps, 35-year old Hickman was able to control the race from the front to give the team its third win of the week.
Combined with his performances in the other races – winning the earlier Supertwin race and finishing second and third in the Supersport battles – he now boasts nine TT wins and 20 podiums, his efforts earning him the Joey Dunlop TT Championship with a total of 111 points.
Meanwhile, team-mate Brian McCormack was again out of luck as he was forced to retire on lap two. The Waterford man’s race started solidly with an opening lap of 125.382mph putting him in 17th place but any hopes of building upon that were dashed second time around when he stopped with a technical issue at Ballaugh.
“To win another Senior TT is epic and I’ve got to say a massive thanks to the team who’ve done a fantastic job all fortnight. I had a couple of issues in the race, the main one being the brake pads being repeatedly knocked back which I meant I had to brake a bit earlier than normal in places. The bike wasn’t quite running as I would have liked so I just focused on managing the lead I had.
“Conditions weren’t brilliant with the strong winds and whilst the first two laps weren’t too bad, it definitely picked up as the race wore on. A six-lap Senior race was what we all wanted though, and we managed to get the job done so I couldn’t be happier. It’s awesome to give the team three wins out of three at its first TT and we couldn’t have asked for any more.”
“It hasn’t been the easiest of TTs for me and it’s disappointing to end race week with a retirement but that’s how the TT goes sometimes. Some years, everything goes well and you can finish every race strongly but others the opposite happens never through anyone’s fault, it’s just the nature of the TT. I can’t thank the team enough for all its hard work and well done to Peter for his three wins.”
Faye Ho, Team Principal:
“To take three wins in a week from three starts in our very first year at the TT is amazing. I’m so, so proud of the team and everyone worked so hard whilst Peter rode fantastically well throughout the fortnight. We came here with no expectations at all and the simple aim was to try our best and enjoy ourselves, which we most certainly did.
“It was a shame Brian had to retire with small technical issues holding him back in the races but he rode well and luck was against him on this occasion; I’m sure he’ll bounce back. Overall, it’s been a superb week of racing for the team and a dream come true to win the races we’ve won.”
The team now turns its attention back to the Bennetts British Superbike Championship with round four of the series taking place at Knockhill, Scotland, next weekend.
Milwaukee Senior (6 laps)
1 Peter Hickman (Gas Monkey Garage by FHO Racing BMW)
2 Dean Harrison (Kawasaki)
3 Conor Cummins (Honda)
4 Davey Todd (Honda)
5 Michael Dunlop (Suzuki)
6 James Hillier (Yamaha)
DNF Brian McCormack (FHO Racing BMW/The Roadhouse Macau)