Hickman wins Superbike race by force, Irwin fastest Isle of Man TT newcomer ever

Peter Hickman near Guthrie’s memorial | © Isle of Man TT Races

Peter Hickman won the Superbike race on the Isle of Man on Saturday afternoon. In the first TT race of the event, on his BMW M 1000 RR, he took the lead, winning by a big lead ahead of Dean Harrison and Michael Dunlop. Glenn Irwin became the fastest newcomer ever with a 129.85 mph lap, finishing eighth in the race.

Saturday afternoon at 12:15 PM local time, 1:15 PM Dutch time, the first race of the 2022 Isle of Man TT started. It concerned the six-lap Superbike race, so in total a distance of no less than 360 kilometers. Before the start it was already clear that there would be no Dutch participant in this race. Ilja Caljouw had failed to qualify, which meant that he and the Performance Racing Achterhoek team were not allowed to start.

So at 12:15 pm it was time for the first race of the week and John McGuinness with the number 1 was tapped first on the shoulder to start the race. The 50-year-old McGuinness started his 100th Isle of Man TT race and drove a beautiful special livery.

Peter Hickman started tenth due to his number 10 but it was soon clear that he was the fastest in this race. On his first lap he drove a 133.18 mph (16:59.896) and the 35-year-old Englishman had already built a lead of more than nine seconds over Dean Harrison. Isle of Man-born Conor Cummins was just 0.7s slower than Harrison, finishing third ahead of Milenco by Padgett’s team-mate Davey Todd and Michael Dunlop. Lee Johnston was sixth after the opening round ahead of James Hillier and Ian Hutchinson, Jamie Coward and John McGuinness rounded out the top ten.

On the second lap, Hickman increased his pace further and drove a 133.46 mph, the fastest lap of this TT so far. As a result, he had increased his margin to Harrison to sixteen seconds, Dunlop had moved up to third as both Milenco by Padgett’s drivers (Cummins and Todd) had retired with technical problems. Lee Johnston had also retired, moving Jamie Coward to fourth ahead of James Hillier and John McGuinness, with Ian Hutchinson, Michael Rutter, the very impressive newcomer Glenn Irwin and Dominic Herbertson in the top ten.

At the end of this second lap, the drivers came in for the first pit stop. While Peter Hickman was the fastest driver on track, his team was also fastest in the pits, returning to the track after 57.679 seconds. At the end of the third lap, Hickman was 22 seconds ahead of Harrison with Dunlop eighteen seconds behind. McGuinness had moved up to fourth ahead of Coward and Hutchinson while Glenn Irwin was currently in a very good sixth, also having set his fastest lap so far with 128.32 mph on the second lap.

At the end of lap four, the drivers re-entered for a pit stop and Hickman’s lead had grown to over 36 seconds. Dunlop had narrowed his gap to Harrison to just six seconds, partly because he was not far behind Hickman on the track and so was pulled along at the fast pace. Nearly a minute and a half behind the top three, John McGuinness was fourth ahead of Coward and Hutchinson, followed by Irwin, Hillier, Herbertson and Shaun Anderson in the top ten.

On lap five, Hickman’s lead over Harrison remained at about 35 seconds while Dunlop was now nine seconds behind Harrison. A minute and forty seconds behind Hutchinson had taken over fourth from McGuinness with Coward in sixth having completed his first 130mph lap. Hillier rode in seventh place ahead of Irwin, Anderson and Herbertson.

The drivers started the final lap and it was Hickman in the lead forty seconds ahead of Harrison with Dunlop ten seconds behind in third. Hutchinson was currently in fourth place but McGuinness was not far from that. In sixth place, Coward was ahead of Hillier, Irwin, Anderson and Michael Rutter, who moved up to tenth place.

It was clear that Hickman was on his way to victory and he knew it himself, on his last lap he was already swaying regularly and getting a little wheelie every now and then, but the pace remained high. He stayed clear and crossed the line with a margin of over 39 seconds to take his sixth Isle of Man TT victory. Harrison drove a solitary race and finished second with Dunlop eighteen seconds behind in third, a fine result from the Northern Irishman who was certainly not completely satisfied with his Suzuki GSX-R1000R.

Two minutes later, Hutchinson was fourth ahead of 50-year-old McGuinness in fifth. Coward was sixth on his Yamaha YZF-R1 ahead of brand mate James Hillier and the extremely impressive newcomer Glenn Irwin who finished eighth. More importantly, he set a 129.85mph on his final lap to become the fastest newcomer in the history of the Isle of Man TT. Shaun Anderson was ninth, Dominic Herbertson completed the top ten.



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