Isle of Man TT results: Peter Hickman explains confusing mechanical issue that handed Dean Harrison a first Senior TT victory
Peter Hickman has revealed that a confusing water issue denied him a Superbike double at the 2019 Isle of Man as a mechanical problem allowed Dean Harrison through for a first big bike win in the Senior TT.
Michael Dunlop was denied a podium place as Conor Cummins retained the third place that he bagged in the 2018 Senior TT.
But the story was Hickman's fall, after it had seemed that he was cruising to a fourth win of the week - an achievement only ever completed by Michael Dunlop, Philip McCallen and Ian Hutchinson.
Hickman clocked a stunning 134.28mph opening lap - from a standing start - and continued to assert his dominance, particularly over the mountain section.
From Ramsey to Bungalow, Hickman had gained 8.5 seconds on Harrison over the opening four laps and by the time he hit the pits for the second time with two laps to go, he had a lead of over 19 seconds.
However, after he emerged from that stop, he haemorrhaged time as his lead evaported over the first two sectors of the fifth lap.
Harrison even boasted a 7.877 second lead by the time he hit the Ramsey Hairpin, as it seemed that the struggling Hickman could even drop out of the podium places, handing third to Dunlop.
When he decided not to pull into the pits ahead of the final lap, it was all but over for Dunlop, although Cummins came within 5.817 seconds of catching Hickman, who did incredibly well to nurse his bike in at second place.
Hickman had revealed before the race that he was intending to ride his hybrid bike but was over-ruled by the mechanic after winning the Superstock race on Thursday.
"We're gutted but it's just the way it goes," Hickman said.
"It is what it is. We've had a cracking week. The bike was working awesome, we had built a 19 second lead. I was kind of cruising but when we came in (to the pit at the end of the fourth lap), the tempearture suddenly went really high.
"I kind of just knew. We've had this water issue and we really can't work it out. It makes absolutely no sense. We've got some clever people and anything you can think of has been changed. If I went above 11,000 RPM, it just chucked water out. I rode around at half-throttle for those last two laps and was short-shifting everywhere. It was not very fun, I can tell you.
"All credit to Dean. He's got his big bike win he's been after for a while. On Monday he should have won that first Superbike race and he had problems so it's swings and roundabouts."
Winner Dean Harrison was understandably delighted to win his first Senior TT.
"To finish first, first you must finish," he said of the manner of the victory. "I'm over the moon. I rode as hard as I could and Peter was just chipping away at me. I just thought anything can happen. I carried on going at the same place. I can't believe it.
"That's hard work around there. Conditions were absolutely spot on. Can I say a big thanks to the crowd? Everywhere you go, there are people waving programmes. They're what make it special. Without them, it wouldn't be the same.
"I got the P1 board coming out of Bellaugh at then I got P1 +30. I don't know what issues Peter has but I'll take it.
"It's an endurance race round here."
Isle of Man Dunlop Senior TT results
1. Dean Harrison
2. Peter Hickman +53.062
3. Conor Cummins +5.817
4. Michael Dunlop +27.830
5. James Hillier +63.643
6. Davey Todd +2.568
7. Michael Rutter +30.651
8. Jamie Coward +9.990
9. Brian McCormack +36.410
10. Dominic Herbertson +19.291
2019 Senior TT as it happened:
Belfast Telegraph Digital