The FHO Racing rider has been king of the Superbike class at the TT for the last two years, but admitted ahead of Sunday’s six-lap race that his preparations on the M1000RR had not gone to plan through practice week.
Hickman eventually finished second to Michael Dunlop in Sunday’s Superbike contest, 8.2 seconds adrift, and came close to posting a new outright lap record after a final tour at 135.445mph.
This achievement was made more impressive by the fact he was “beaten right from the start” as his bike developed an intermittent quickshifter problem.
To add to his woes, Hickman also noted he had “no brakes” every time he went into a corner because his BMW continually knocked his brake pads back.
“Well, I’m happy enough,” he told TT’s live television feed after the race.
“Right from the start I knew I was in for a very long race. We went off the start and before we’d even got to St Ninians the quickshifter had stopped working.
“I had no quickshift and no [throttle] blip. Sometimes the quickshifter worked, but not very often. So, it was going to be a tough race. Right from the start we were beaten really as far as winning the race was concerned.
“But I got my head down just to try and understand what the bike would do and wouldn’t do.
“The next problem I had is I got no brakes. Every time I went for the lever, there’s nothing there, the lever’s coming back to the bar because the bike was headshaking so much, it’s so violent over the bumps, that the bike keeps knocking the pads back.
“So, every time I went for the brakes, there’s just nothing – and I mean every time.
“So, every time there’s a braking zone I have to pump [the lever] three times to get brakes. So, that is unnerving for a start and it’s super difficult to be fast.”
Hickman says the difficulty in curing the problems he has faced on his BMW Superbike at the 2023 TT are “not through a lack of trying” on his FHO team’s part as he looks towards next Saturday's Senior race aboard the bike.
“I just tried to manage as best as possible,” he added.
“The team’s done a mega job, it’s not through a lack of trying that we’re not winning. It’s just simply the way it goes sometimes.
“We’ve tried everything and the bike’s doing the same thing and we don’t know why.
“It is what it is, I hung on for as long as I could. Last lap was pretty strong, I kept Dean [Harrison] in touching distance and had a real dig in on the last lap as much as I dared with all the braking zones.”
Picture credit @ttracesofficial/Pacemaker Press