TT REWIND: 2018 SENIOR TT
The 2018 Isle of Man TT Races was one of the greatest ever. Two weeks of glorious weather was accompanied by close, exhilarating racing as lap and race records tumbled in every class. However, the best was saved until last with a Senior Race that is arguably one of, if not the best race ever witnessed around the TT Mountain Course.
Dean Harrison and Peter Hickman had both been forced to retire from the opening Superbike Race, the former whilst leading and after setting the first ever lap at an average speed in excess of 134mph. The pair had subsequently taken a race win each – Harrison in the second Supersport Race whilst Hickman won a record-breaking Superstock encounter with his own 134mph+ lap.
The scene was set for the duo to have a battle royale and Harrison tore out the blocks the quickest, although he only led Hickman by a slender 1.4 seconds at the end of the first lap. A pattern soon emerged, Harrison consistently stretching his lead in sectors one and two from the Grandstand to Ballaugh and Hickman clawing back the deficit thereafter – particularly from Ramsey, over the Mountain and back to the Grandstand.
Amazingly, after the second pit stop the gap between the two was still only 1.4 seconds, although it continued to ebb and flow at each timing point. At Ballaugh on the sixth and final lap, Harrison had increased his advantage to 5.7 seconds but from that moment on, Hickman began to reduce the gap.
It wasn’t until the Bungalow, with over 218-miles of the 226-mile race completed, that Hickman grabbed the lead for the first time. Ahead on the road, Harrison flashed across the line first with a new outright lap record of 134.918mph, but Hickman bettered that with a sensational 135.452mph to win by just two seconds!