Louth motorcycle racer Peter Hickman rode to a new career landmark with the first podium finish of his career at the Isle of Man TT on Sunday.
Hickman recorded a close second place in the opening race at the world-famous festival, finishing the six-lap RST Superbike race just five seconds behind Ian Hutchinson.
Practice week was all but a washout with the weather curtailing the action around the 37.73-mile Mountain road circuit.
Saturday’s race action was replaced by a day of practice so riders could get their machines up to speed.
Hicky rode well to complete his practice in second place in the Superbike class, third in the Lightweight, fifth in the Supersport and sixth in the Superstock class in only his fourth year of competing on the island.
The Superbike race began in perfect conditions and Hickman took it steady to the first sector at Glen Helen, registering seventh on the Smiths Racing BMW.
But he soon began to gather speed and by the end of the first lap was in fifth, recording a fast time of 130.304mph.
On lap two he moved up to fourth place at Ballaugh Bridge and on the run down the mountain to the pits was up into third.
After a quick pitstop for refuelling, he maintained third position and was gradually reeling in the rider ahead on time, finally taking second place again on the run down the mountain.
With riders all setting off at 10-second intervals, Hickman was never in a position to see Hutchinson, who was some way ahead and holding the race lead.
On the final lap Hicky got the gap down to just 1.6 seconds and looked as if he could actually snatch the lead, but was then delayed by back markers and his chance was gone.
But once past them he continued on his run down to the finish line to take the chequered flag for second place and the first podium finish of his short career.
He said: “The bike never missed a beat, the team was really good during the pit stops and I am really happy.
“My board said -2 so I knew I was only a couple of seconds behind Hutchy coming on to the mountain which got me a little bit excited.
“But I know how fast he is over the mountain and so I just tried to hit all my points as best as I could, and to come away with a second place in the first race is perfect.
“The bike is working really well and the Dunlop tyres are mega.”