Welcome to the SBN backup and archive site - here you will find articles from 2016 upto December 2022, as well as latest news
HomeIsle of Man TT and Other RoadsHickman and Dunlop top solo charts, Birchalls lead sidecars at TT2022

Hickman and Dunlop top solo charts, Birchalls lead sidecars at TT2022

Subscribe to our new digital magazine apps it free to download the its £2.99 per issue

Hickman and Dunlop top solo charts, Birchalls lead sidecars at TT2022

Thursday evening a brought light breeze; dry roads with overhead cloud cutting out the harsh low sunlight that had affected riders the previous evening on the run to Ballacraine. There was a small number of spectators on the banks at Ramsey Hairpin to watch the action. The rebuilt section from White Gates, through Stella Maris and up to the Hairpin appears quicker than the old bumpy; heavily cambered road that riders used to face.

Due to a change in schedule, the Sidecars had got the evening underway at 6.30pm and it was the Birchalls who were again first away followed by John Holden/Dan Sayle, Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau, Dave Molyneux/Daryl Gibson and the Crowe brothers. At the Hairpin the sound of bird song was replaced with that of highly tuned engines as the sidecars powered towards us. The Birchalls were first; then came the usual cavalry charge. Tim Reeves / Kevin Rousseau used a tighter line than most; whilst Estelle Lebond / Clement Carre and the Ramsdens missed their braking points and were very wide. Dave Molyneux / Daryl Gibson were away slowly; discussing something on the climb to Waterworks. The facts of the session from Press Office now follow.

Gary Bryan/Phil Hyde made an early stop just after Union Mills before proceeding but all the sector times had the Birchalls as comfortably the quickest and that proved to be the case as they completed the opening lap at 117.516mph. The quickest lap of the week so far, that was some 19.5s quicker than the Crowes whose lap of 115.564mph was another personal best.

Newcomer driver Harry Payne, with Mark Wilkes, went third quickest (112.398mph) with Lee Blackstock/Patrick Rosney (112.354mph) and Reeves/Rousseau (112.34mph). 17-time winner Molyneux was sixth (110.827mph) just ahead of Paul Leglise/Melanie Farnier (110.236mph) but both Holden/Sayle and Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie had stopped out on track.

The Birchalls pulled in to make some set up changes; but the Crowes went straight through for a second lap only to retire at Sulby Crossroads. That meant it was Reeves/Rousseau who were first to complete their second lap, at 113.708mph which was six seconds up on Blackstock/Rosney who improved to 113.137mph.

Payne/Wilkes upped their pace to 112.798mph whilst Steve and Matty Ramsden moved into sixth on the leaderboard with a best ever lap of the TT Course of 111.903mph, and although the Birchalls posted another 117mph+ lap, their first lap remained the quicker of the two.


In the solos the pace rose again, with Peter Hickman lapping at 133.22mph on his Gas Monkey Garage by FHO Racing BMW Superbike. On a busy evening for him, Peter also topped the leader board for the Superstock and Supertwin classes, at 129.910mph and 120.994mph respectively on his Gas Monkey Garage by FHO Racing BMW and VAS Engine Racing Paton, but it was close in the latter with Michael Dunlop just 0.2s slower on his Paton. The Ulsterman had the consolation of being quickest in the Supersport category after lapping at 126.662mph on his MD Racing Yamaha. Michael has looked fats and neat all week; there is more on tap for him.
The solo session fired into life at 7.25pm. James Hillier (RICH Energy OMG Racing) was first away with Hickman, Dean Harrison (DAO Racing Kawasaki), Michael Rutter (Bathams Ales) and Ian Hutchinson (Milwaukee BMW Motorrad) quickly following. Hickman and Harrison were first to reach the Hairpin and were inch perfect.As for the previous nights, Hickman, Harrison and Davey Todd (Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles) were the riders setting the pace; but it was again Hickman who was impressing the most and he crossed the line first after lapping at a superb 133.22mph. That was 6.83s quicker than Harrison’s 132.333mph with Todd just 1.1s further back after posting his best lap of the Mountain Course to date, 132.187mph.

Michael Dunlop slotted into fourth on the Hawk Racing Suzuki at 131.44mph, his best lap of the week so far, with Conor Cummins on the second Padgett’s machine, the fifth and final rider to lap in excess of 130mph at 130.489mph. Hillier placed sixth at 128.431mph but Dunlop had an early stop at Ballacraine on his second lap before rejoining.

Meanwhile at the head of the field and Hickman was really pressing on but just when it looked like he’d post a quicker lap, he ran out of fuel and pushed in from Governor’s Bridge. None of the top four riders went any quicker but both Cummins (130.867mph) and John McGuinness MBE (129.278mph) did improve, with the latter knocking Hillier out of the top six.

Meanwhile, impressive laps came in lower down the order from Mike Browne (125.076mph), Matt Stevenson (124.073mph), Brandon Cretu (123.159mph), David Datzer (122.335mph) and newcomer Milo Ward who posted his first lap over 120mph with a speed of 121.18mph.

Hickman got back out on track on his Superstock BMW and topped the class with a lap of 129.91mph which put him ahead of Todd (128.933mph), Cummins (128.733mph) and Dunlop (127.642mph) whilst Glenn Irwin, after experiencing trouble with his Superbike, was eighth quickest on his Honda at 126.689mph, yet another personal best for the newcomer.

In the Supersport class, Lee Johnston (Ashcourt Racing) set the initial pace with a lap of 125.202mph and he was able to hold on right up until the closing moment when Dunlop set the fastest 600cc lap of the week at 126.662mph. Johnston slipped back to fourth after Harrison (125.563mph) and Jamie Coward (125.213mph) both overhauled him in the final minutes, whilst Todd (124.014mph) and Hillier (123.784mph) completed the top six.

Newcomers Joe Loughlin (120.419mph) and Rennie Scaysbrook (117.079mph) and Frenchman Pierre Yves-Bian (119.968mph) were also going well in the 600cc division.

The Supertwins were the last class to get out on the course and it was Lee Johnston who again set the early pace after a lap of 117.178mph on his Aprilia before Hickman took over the top spot with a lap of 119.719mph. Johnston improved second time around to 118.454mph as did fourth placed James Hind (118.38mph) but Hickman and Dunlop were more than 20 seconds quicker than anyone else with their respective laps of 120.994mph and 120.965mph, the first laps over 120mph of the week in this class.

Paul Jordan (117.873mph) and Gary Johnson (117.843mph) rounded the top six ahead of Rob Hodson (117.594mph) and Pierre-Yves Bian who put in a strong lap of 117.314mph. Loughlin had another strong session too with a lap of 116.317mph on his Paton.

Finally; we wish Mikey Evans a happy birthday.

Report and images by Richard Radcliffe. For more info check out our dedicated Isle of Man TT News page Isle of Man TT

Subscribe our to digital magazine for a small fee of £2.99 per issue or £50 for a year (24 issues) via our dedicated iOS, Android and Web App

Subscribe via ZINIO Unlimited which gives you access to Modern Classic Motorcycle News but also over 5000+ digital magazines for £8.99 per monthZinio Unlimited Banner 970px By 250px Layout 1

Follow us on socials


Must Read