The Monster Energy by FHO Racing BMW team are celebrating after Peter Hickman took a hard-fought second place finish in the six-lap RST Superbike Race aboard the BMW M 1000 RR, where he also set the new Superbike lap record.


With glorious conditions again around the 37.73-mile Mountain Course, the opening Superbike race of the event got away at 2.40pm, with six laps ahead of Hickman and teammate Josh Brookes.


With lap times hotting up across the weeks’ qualifying, the six-lap race was forecast to be a thrilling one and each lap didn’t disappoint. By the first pit stop at the end of the second lap Hickman was up into third place, but it wasn’t smooth running for Faye Ho’s team.


Off the line Hicky realised there was a problem with the quickshifter, he’d also lost the blipper and an ongoing issue with the brake calipers thrown into the mix, meant it wasn’t going to be an easy race. However, finding his rhythm on the fourth rotation and knowing how the M 1000 RR would behave he started to bridge the gap to second place.


On the sixth lap he’d caught Dean Harrison and moved into second place, and with race leader Michael Dunlop 15s ahead, he knew he had some work to do to catch him up. Each sector Hickman masterfully made-up time reeling in the race leader and crossed the line in second place just 8.233s behind Dunlop, finishing in 16:42.824 and scoring a new Superbike lap record with a 135.445mph lap.


Teammate Brookes returned to the TT Races after five years and he wasted no time in qualifying getting back up to speed. Keen to have pushed over the 130mph mark, Brookes and his team lost crucial time in the opening pit stop after the rear wheel technician was struck by another competitor’s machine. Losing around 22s in the pitstop, Brookes over the remaining laps kept working away and it was the final lap where he clocked his best time (130.783mph) and came home in an impressive seventh place, 13s behind sixth place.


The Monster Energy by FHO Racing BMW squad will now prepare for the first three-lap Superstock race, which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 6 June.


Peter Hickman:

“Well, we’ve finished the opening Superbike race of TT 2023 and despite finishing on the podium the race didn’t go to plan unfortunately. We had a problem with the quickshifter right from the start, literally as I set off it wouldn’t shift into second and was intermittent. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t, which was worse than it not working at all. I also didn’t have a blipper either, so every time I went to downshift, I had no blipper, which is really unfortunate and makes my life harder work. On top of that we also had the ongoing brake issue, so every time I went for the brakes I had to pump three times to start slowing down and round here that’s super un-nerving. The race felt super long, and felt like it went on for four hours, let along an hour and forty! By the end I’d got into a bit of a rhythm of always pumping the brake three times, understanding where to shift and where it would shift, and we ended going up pretty fast and I managed to sneak past Dean [Harrison], which was nice as when we started I didn’t think we’d reach the end let alone be stood on the podium. It was a tough race, but sometimes that’s how it goes, and we’ll come back fighting for the Senior TT next Saturday.”


Josh Brookes:

“We’re home safe and sound after the six laps, which is the primary focus. We were a little slow in the pit stop after our back wheel guy was run into by another competitor, which slowed us quite a bit maybe 20s or so. Other than that, everything went smoothly, I wasn’t particularly focus on the position, we finished seventh, but I was hoping to do better than a 130mph lap time. I might have managed it on the last lap, but there were yellow flags so I had to slow down for a few vital seconds, so I would have liked to have improved my average speed. From the race we have plenty of understanding in the areas where we need to improve and how to improve. We have another three races to go on the bike and I look forward to some improvements across the week in both the Superstock and Senior TT races.”


Faye Ho – Team Principal:
“To come home second in the Superbike race after the issues Pete had on track was an amazing result. I’m sure everyone, like myself would have liked to have seen what he could have done without the issues he encountered, but this is racing and especially here anything can happen. But to have passed Dean [Harrison] and bridge the gap to Michael [Dunlop] in the lead, experiencing the issues he was is just remarkable. I always say to my riders at the TT it’s not about the results, yes we would love to win and be on the podium, but coming back safe is the number one.


I’m really pleased with Josh and where he finished in seventh, I know he would have liked to have passed the 130mph mark, but there’s three more races this week where he can have another go. It’s a shame he lost time in the pit stop as I think he could have been fighting for sixth or fifth, but he’s impressed the whole team with his attitude and how he’s gone about his return to the TT, and I’m looking forward to seeing him in action throughout the week.”