Following their superb victory earlier in the week, Peter Hickman and the Gloucester-based Smiths Racing team took their third podium at the 2018 Isle of Man TT Races when the Lincolnshire rider claimed second place in today’s four-lap Monster Energy Supersport Race 2.
With perfect conditions all around the 37.73-mile Mountain Course once more, Hickman was back out on the 675cc Trooper Triumph by Smiths Racing and with a good opening lap of 127.016mph, the 31 year old slotted into third place.
It was extremely close for the final podium position as he was only two tenths of a second ahead of James Hillier and the gaps between the two riders continued to fluctuate at the various timing points on lap two.
However, Peter again lapped quicker than his Kawasaki rival and, with a second lap of 128.080mph, he arrived at the single pit stop with an advantage of two seconds. There was drama at the pit stop too as second placed Michael Dunlop was given a 30 second penalty for exceeding the pit lane speed limit which promoted both Peter and Hillier up the order a place whilst it was on the third lap where Hicky broke the challenge of Hillier and, going into the final lap, he was eight seconds clear.
Race leader Dean Harrison had a comfortable lead at the head of the field, but Peter continued to push to the end and with his fourth and final lap being 127.386mph, he duly collected his third podium of the week and eighth in total whilst the results also moved him up to joint second in the Joey Dunlop TT Championship.
Peter then contested the Lightweight race for KMR Kawasaki, as he had done in 2017, but he was denied another podium finish when he was cruelly forced to retire with a technical issue on the final lap.
Peter Hickman: “I knew before the start that Dean and Michael would be that little bit too fast for me today and whilst I wasn’t necessarily beaten before I got going, I knew it was going to be a hard race. We had some issues with the bike in practice, but it never missed a beat in either race, which is obviously where it counts. It was close with James in the early stages and kept seeing ‘+0’ on my board so I dug deep and managed to edge away from him. Obviously, Michael picked up his penalty which bumped us up a place but it’s fantastic for both myself and the team to get our third podium of the week.”
Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: “After the euphoria of our second TT win on Monday with Peter’s brilliant performance in the Superstock TT race, it was soon back to business and I couldn’t be happier with second place. Like Pete said, Dean and Michael have had better pace than anyone all week, so it wasn’t a surprise to see them pull away and it became a battle for third between Pete and James. There was little to choose between them, but Pete dug deep and opened up a bit of a gap and third became second at the pit stop, which was disappointing for Michael but a bonus for us. Pete rode sensibly over the final two laps and we’re all delighted with podium number three.”
Peter has one more race to go with the blue-riband PokerStars Senior TT race taking place over six laps at 12.45pm on Friday.
Pictures attached courtesy of Stephen Davison (Pacemaker Press International).