Peter Hickman has extended his winning record with his third victory of the 2023 Isle of Man TT in the supertwin class, benefitting from a mechanical failure for runaway race leader Michael Dunlop to draw level with the Northern Irishman on three wins apiece this week.
It’s the latest 2023 TT race to be determined not only by outright speed but by technical issues for a whole host of frontrunners.
Dunlop, the winner of the week’s first supertwin race on Tuesday, was an early race leader, pulling ahead by nearly five seconds at the opening timing point at Glen Helen, maintaining that gap to Irishman Mike Browne until the Mountain section of the course – where disaster struck and he was forced to pull off the track.
Browne then got down to pulling out his own lead over Hickman in second, extending it to a very impressive 16 seconds at the end of lap two and looking to be en route to a debut TT win – until he too was forced to retire, this time at the pits.
That moved Hickman into the lead with a huge 37-second margin back to Dom Herbertson in second, before he too was hit with technical problems and put out of the race, moving Frenchman Pierre Yves Bian into second and Hickman’s superbike team-mate Josh Brookes into third. Those were positions that they maintained until the chequered flag, leading to debut podiums for both riders at the historic event.
That means that Hickman, now on 12 wins, and Dunlop, one shy of uncle Joey’s all-time record of 26, go into tomorrow’s final race of the weekend neck and neck with three wins each, and with the biggest trophy of the whole event on the line in the superbike-class Senior TT.