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ISLE OF MAN TT SUCCESS FOR HICKMAN AND SMITHS RACING

Peter Hickman and the Smiths Racing BMW team ended their 2017 Isle of Man TT Races campaign with second place position in the Pokerstars Senior TT race, giving the Louth-based rider five podiums from his five race starts.

 

The results meant that Hickman won the Joey Dunlop Championship trophy, awarded to the best overall performances by a rider over the course of the week, with Smiths Racing also winning the trophy awarded to the best team.   Despite a slipping clutch, Hickman was involved in a titanic battle with fellow BMW rider Ian Hutchinson for one and a half laps as they exchanged the lead before Hutchy was involved in a crash at the 27th Milestone, suffering a broken leg, which brought out the red flag meaning the race was restarted over the shorter distance of four laps.

Eventually getting underway at 5.15pm, and with the clutch replaced, Hickman’s first lap in the re-start was 131.744mph, which placed him 4.3s behind race leader Michael Dunlop but although the 30 year old from Louth quickened his pace second time around to 132.254mph, so too did Dunlop and he extended his advantage to 9.2s.   An excellent pit stop by the Smiths team and a strong first sector on lap three saw Peter bring the gap down to 7.7s but Northern Ireland’s Dunlop had the race under control and he eventually took the win by 13.3s.   With a final lap again in excess of 131mph, Hickman brought the Smiths BMW S1000RR home in second place for his fifth podium of the week and in doing so, saw him clinch the much coveted Joey Dunlop Championship trophy whilst Smiths team boss Rebecca Smith was delighted to collect the coveted team award following a special week on the island.

 

Peter Hickman: “What can I say, it’s been an absolutely unbelievable week and five podiums from five races is mega. The first part of the race was shaping up to be a cracker and although Hutchy and I were neck and neck, the clutch was starting to slip so we managed to change it in between races. It was a shame what happened to Hutchy and I wish him well for a speedy recovery. The re-start went perfectly for me, there wasn’t as much grip out there today due to all the rain we’ve had but apart from that, the race was mint. The boys did a great job at the pit stop and although Michael was that bit stronger than me, we did what we needed to do and got another second place. I came here with no podiums but to leave with five is amazing and although it would have been nice to win, I can’t complain as to ride round today with so many fans lining the track was brilliant.”

 

Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: “With four podiums on our bikes and then another on the KMR Kawasaki, it’s been a superb week for both Peter and the Smiths team and full credit has to be given to both him and the team. They’ve all worked so hard to get here and whilst we were in contention for the race win before the red flag, we’ve still got to be happy with second. We obviously wish Hutchy a speedy recovery and we had another great race in the re-start with a great effort at the pit stop by the boys. We couldn’t have asked for any more and with podiums from all of our races, the trophy for the best team of the week is the icing on the cake.”

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