Peter Hickman took a hard-fought fourth place finish in the opening RST Superbike race of the 2016 Isle of Man TT, breaking the 132mph barrier in the process.
The result is the GBmoto Racing Kawasaki team’s best-ever result at the famous road racing event and Hickman becomes only the seventh rider in the TT’s history to reach the 132mph bracket.
The result was even more spectacular given the team had suffered from several electronic problems throughout practice – with mechanics working on the bike until late last night to try and fix the issues.
A delighted Hickman said: “It was a really tough practice week, the bike was great but we just had a consistent problem with the electronics. This is the first year I’ve ridden a Superbike over here and on my third lap I set a 129mph, so we knew the potential was there but despite the team changing everything the problem persisted and we struggled to get a lap in again after Tuesday.
“Last night we made the big decision to change the Superbike to the kit electronics used on the Superstock machine. It’s no easy job to do, so huge credit to the team who were still working late into the night last night to get it ready in time. “
Hickman set-off from the Glencrutchery Road fifth before settling into seventh place after the first lap. Just after the first pit-stop on lap two Hickman had moved his way up into fifth – 18 seconds behind Dean Harrison.
The MCE British Superbike rider would continue to chip away at that gap over the course of the next two circulations around the Mountain Course.
The 29-year-old started managed take fourth place away from Harrison at the beginning of his final lap and got his head down to produce one of the quickest laps in TT history.
Hickman got the very best out of his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R machine and wowed the crowds with a stunning 132.465mph lap to take the team’s and his best-ever finish.
On today’s achievement, team principal Mark Smith-Halvorsen said: “This really was a fantastic result. The team has had a very tough practice week, facing a lot of challenges – something that is typical of the Isle of Man TT. The guys in the garages have worked phenomenally every night, staying until past 1am last night to resolve the issues we have had though and the tireless work paid off today with a brilliant fourth place.
“The fact Pete was able to do what he did is a testament to not only what a fantastic talent he is, but also the hard work the team put in. I’m really pleased for Pete, the team, our sponsors and fans – hopefully we can continue this form into the Superstock race on Monday and the Senior Friday.”