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Race report

Isle of Man TT 2024: Hickman wins Superbike race after Dunlop helmet issue

Peter Hickman scored his 14th Isle of Man TT victory after winning a dramatic Superbike TT race, after long-time leader Michael Dunlop encountered a helmet issue.

Peter Hickman, FHO Racing BMW

Dunlop equalled the all-time win record of 26 held by his late uncle Joey Dunlop in Saturday’s opening Supersport race and looked on course to go one better in the six-lap Superbike contest on Sunday afternoon.

Leading by over 20 seconds on his Hawk Racing Honda at his second pitstop, an issue with his helmet forced him to stop moments after leaving the pits and robbed him of over 40 seconds.

This should have promoted TAS Racing’s Davey Todd into the lead, but he suffered a slow pitstop at the same time, releasing Honda’s Dean Harrison into first.

But it would be Hickman, who at one stage was facing his first Superbike TT race without a podium since 2018, who would work his way to the lead and emerged with the victory.

He was pushed by Todd over the final lap, but the TAS Racing’s earlier pitstop dramas would prove too costly and he had to settle for second ahead of Harrison, while Dunlop was fourth.

Dunlop did come away from the 2024 Superbike TT with a new race lap record of 135.97mph, having set the previous best earlier in the race.

TT legend John McGuinness set off at #1 on the road on his Honda, but Todd on his BMW led on corrected time through to the Glen Helen split on lap one by 0.037s over Hickman.

Todd swelled that lead over the rest of the tour, heading the field by 2.2s as Dunlop moved into second ahead of Harrison and Hickman.

Davey Todd, TAS Racing BMW

Davey Todd, TAS Racing BMW

Photo by: iomtt.com

Through Glen Helen on lap two, Todd’s lead was down to 1.5s before Dunlop moved 0.5s clear at Ballaugh and stretched that to 9s on his way into the pits having posted a new class lap record of 135.543mph.

Hickman had worked his way up to second having been battling visor fogging issues, but a sluggish stop by his FHO crew dropped him to third behind Todd and Dunlop through to Glen Helen on lap three.

Dunlop was looking unmatched as his lead ballooned to 17.3s over the rest of lap three, with it standing at 25.1s over Todd when the Hawk Racing rider came in for his second pitstop.

It was here where Dunlop’s race unravelled as an issue with a sidepod on his helmet forced him to stop just after leaving the pits and dropped him to fourth.

Harrison, who hooked onto the back of Dunlop on the road over the fourth lap and dragged himself into third, emerged through Glen Helen on the fifth tour leading by 1.1s from Hickman.

Todd suffered a slow pitstop, losing around 20s to Harrison and Hickman, which dropped him to third.

Harrison’s lead was stable at 1.1s at Ballaugh on lap five, but at Ramsey Hickman had taken a 1.4s lead.

Michael Dunlop, Hawk Racing Honda

Michael Dunlop, Hawk Racing Honda

Photo by: iomtt.com

That grew to two seconds as he started his final tour and stood at 5.840s at the finish, giving him a 14th TT win and seeing him equal Mike Hailwood’s tally.

Todd followed Dunlop on the road across most of lap five, but overtook him and pulled away which vaulted him back into second for his second podium of the week.

Harrison completed the podium on the Honda and broke into the 135mph club for the first time, with Dunlop 15.1s further back in fourth after his helmet dramas.

James Hillier completed the top five on the WTF Honda, while 23-time TT winner John McGuinness was sixth ahead of Jamie Coward, Mike Browne, Michael Rutter and Brian McCormack.

There were retirements for Josh Brookes, Connor Cummins and Ian Hutchinson among others in an attritional race.

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