-- IOM TT 2013 - Superstock TT - Supersport Race One
-- Dunlop takes third win in a week as Northern Irishman wins Royal London 360 Superstock TT
Michael Dunlop completed a sensational hat-trick at the 2013 Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy, on Monday afternoon when he won a record-breaking Royal London 360 Superstock race. The Honda rider was trailing long-time race leader Gary Johnson going into the final lap but with a stunning new lap record of 131.220mph, he was able to take his sixth TT win by 18.4s.
Johnson had to ease his pace slightly on the final 37 and ¾ miles when his Kawasaki suffered an oil leak but after two retirements from the two races held so far, he held on for a good second with John McGuinness completing the podium places in third.
It was the Kawasakis of Johnson and James Hillier that led in the early stages, the former holding a one second advantage over the latter at Glen Helen on the first lap with McGuinness a further second back in third. Dunlop was a further 0.75s adrift in fourth but by the end of the lap he’d worked his way up to second.
Johnson’s opening lap of 129.215mph gave him a 4.8s lead though and it was Guy Martin who was up into third, McGuinness down to fourth with Dean Harrison riding superbly in fifth. Hillier had slipped back to sixth with Bruce Anstey, Michael Rutter, Steve Mercer and William Dunlop completing the top ten. Local man Conor Cummins was an early retirement whilst Josh Brookes also pulled into the pits to make adjustments to his chain.
Lap two and Johnson continued to lead but the gap was slowly shrinking and when they came into the pits for their fuel stop, the difference was just 1.5s, both riders lapping in excess of 129mph. Martin did the same as he held onto third from McGuinness, Harrison and Hillier but the Tyco Suzuki rider was hit by a 30s speeding penalty as he left pit lane dropping him down the order.
Johnson wasn’t going to just hand the place to Dunlop, the man of the week so far, and he showed his Mountain Course prowess on the third lap when he doubled his lead to three seconds as they headed into the final lap. Martin’s challenge, which had been effectively ended by the penalty, came to a halt for good at Glen Duff on the third lap and so McGuinness was secure in third with Harrison likewise in fourth, the youngster on course for his best ever TT result.
As the fourth lap unfolded, Dunlop hit the front for the first time, his margin of lead at Glen Helen just 0.137s but, with his foot having slipped off the pegs at Union Mills, Johnson’s charge for victory was all but over. Indeed, when the riders swept round Ramsey Hairpin for the final time, Dunlop’s lead was almost three seconds and this became seven through the Bungalow.
Dunlop was setting a scorching pace and as he took the chequered flag, his final lap was confirmed at 131.220mph, comfortably inside the previous lap record of 130.741mph set by Ian Hutchinson in 2010 and just three and a half seconds outside McGuinness’ outright lap record set on Saturday. His final winning margin was 16.4s with Johnson still delighted with second having pushed Dunlop for as long as he could.
McGuinness took a strong third, his 38th TT podium in total, with Harrison claiming an excellent fourth whilst Anstey edged out Hillier for fifth, the Kawasaki rider slipping back on the final lap as he began to lose power.
Steve Mercer took a superb eighth place, being the first privateer home in the process, with William Dunlop and Ben Wylie completing the top ten.
The results mean Dunlop comfortably leads the Joey Dunlop Championship on 75 points followed by McGuinness (45) and Anstey (39). Mercer is the pace setter in the TT Privateer’s Championship with the maximum 50 points from his two races with Dan Kneen (44) in second and Dan Cooper (39) in third.
-- IOM TT 2013 - Supersport Race One
-- Supersport Race One
Michael Dunlop made it two wins from two at the 2013 Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy, when he took the opening Monster Energy Supersport race on Monday morning, the day after his stunning race win in the Dainese Superbike Race. Riding the MD Racing Honda, Dunlop took the lead at Ballaugh on the opening lap from brother William and with a 127.525mph lap on his second lap, he caught Bruce Anstey on the road and eventually took the win from the Kiwi by 10.3s.
With perfect conditions on the Island, the race got underway as scheduled at 10.45am and it was William Dunlop who led through Glen Helen on the opening lap, his advantage over Anstey 1.6s, with Michael a further 0.1s back. Indeed, it was tight all the way down the leaderboard with less than four seconds covering the top ten.
On the run to Ramsey though, Michael turned his deficit into a 1.5s lead, with Anstey now in third, a further 0.5s back from William but by the Grandstand, an opening lap of 126.431mph extended his lead to 4.2s. Anstey had moved back into second by two seconds with Cameron Donald in fourth, just ahead of Guy Martin and a flying Dean Harrison.
On the second lap, Dunlop pressed on and could now see Anstey ahead on the road, his lap of 127.525mph only a fraction outside his own lap record. The lead was now close to ten seconds with William still holding onto third although the rest of the leaderboard was shuffling somewhat with Martin up to fourth ahead of Donald, John McGuinness, Harrison, Gary Johnson on the MV Agusta and James Hillier.
As they left the solitary pit stop, Dunlop and Anstey were together and the pair of them had caught McGuinness, Donald and Hillier on the road giving the thousands of fans around the course a tremendous sight and the dice allowed the battle for fourth to go all the way to the line.
The top three positions were all but secure on the final lap, McGuinness giving William Dunlop a brief scare for third as he closed to within four and half seconds although the latter responded to take the final podium spot by over seven seconds.
It all meant Michael Dunlop took his fifth TT victory, equalling the total of his father Robert, with Anstey and William rounding out the podium, the first time the two siblings have shared a TT rostrum.
McGuinness took a strong fourth with Hillier having another excellent ride into fifth as he overhauled Martin on the final lap. Donald slipped back to seventh with Harrison, Dan Stewart and Dan Cooper rounding out the top ten.
Cooper's tenth place made him the first privateer home ahead of Dan Kneen (11th) and Robert Wilson (13th) but Kneen has now taken over the lead in the overall TT Privateers Championship.
-- Tyco Suzuki
It was a case of 'so near, yet so far' for Tyco Suzuki rider Guy Martin during today's Supersport Race 1 and Superstock encounters in glorious sunshine at the Isle of Man TT.
Martin finished sixth in the Supersport race, run over four laps, on his GSX-R600 Suzuki, but in the Royal London Superstock encounter, it looked like he could produce a podium result, but for a pit-lane penalty while holding second place. Martin dropped to fifth place after the time penalty and retired later into the third lap at Glenduff when his GSX-R1000 suffered a fuel pump problem.
Josh Brookes - who yesterday became the fastest-ever Newcomer at the Isle of Man TT with a lap-time of 127.726mph and 10th overall in the Dainese Superbike TT - had an unscheduled pit stop with a chain tension problem, but later continued to add to his lap count on his debut. He eventually finished 46th.
Guy Martin: "The 600 job was working okay and the bike was pulling well up-top but we lacked a little bit of punch, so we need a few set-up changes for Wednesday. The boys made changes to the Superstock bike and I could tell the difference by the time I reached the lights at St Ninians - it was brilliant! I didn't know until I retired that I'd received a pit-lane penalty but either way, it inspires confidence for Friday and I'm not too disappointed."
Josh Brookes: "I still haven't really gelled with the Superstock bike as well as the Superbike just yet. I over-jumped at Ballaugh and knew immediately that I'd stretched the chain and needed to make an un-scheduled pit stop. It broke my concentration a bit and I overshot then at Quarter Bridge on a full tank of fuel, but it's just one of those days."
Philip Neill - Team Manager: "We were out of luck today, but despite the retirement in the Superstock race, I really don't think the pit-lane penalty fits the crime. We were never quite on podium pace in Supersport although it was encouraging, but in Superstock we really had a fighting chance. Guy was pleased with the set-up changes we made and although I expected him to be disappointed with the retirement, he is taking the positives from it. Josh also had some bad luck, but that's the TT and all part of the experience."
-- John McGuinness Report
John McGuinness enjoyed a strong day of racing at the Isle of Man TT Races on Monday and the Morecambe man was rewarded with two more top four finishes. Riding the 600cc and 1000cc HM Plant Padgetts Honda's, the TT legend took third in the Superstock race to record his 38th TT podium, and backed this up with fourth in the Supersport race.
In the morning's Supersport 600cc race, a strong opening lap of 124.608mph left John in seventh place such was the pace at the head of the field but as the race progressed, he got into his stride and continued to progress up the leaderboard. Quickening his pace to 125.538mph second time around, John moved up to fifth and with another rapid pit stop he was able to close right up on Guy Martin. Sure enough, on lap three he overhauled his Suzuki rival and, circulating on the road with eventual race winner Michael Dunlop, Bruce Anstey, Cameron Donald and James Hillier, he was now in with a chance of the final podium spot. With a final lap of 126.145mph, just outside his personal best on a 600cc machine, he just missed out on a podium but a strong fourth place was an excellent outcome.
With little chance of a break, John was back out less than two hours later for the 4-lap Superstock race riding the larger capacity Honda, and with an opening lap of 128.051mph, he slotted into a strong fourth place. Here he remained until lap three when third placed Guy Martin was hit with a 30s penalty for speeding in the pit lane and, promoted up to third, another 128mph+ lap on the fourth and final lap gave him his second podium of the week, and 38th in total. Dunlop was again the winner with Gary Johnson in second.
Speaking later, a pleased John said; "I've really enjoyed the races today and am pleased with the results. I'm riding for some brilliant people and Honda and the Padgetts family keep giving me some great bikes so I keep going out there and doing my best. The 600cc race was a lot of fun and it's very unusual to have so many of us battling on the road so it was great to be part of that. As always, I rode my own race, hitting all my apexes, braking at my markers and getting on the power when I should have done so I'm happy enough. Full credit to Michael in the Superstock race as that final lap was incredible. To lap at 131mph on a Superstock bike is something special and when he came by me at the 11th Milestone I thought I'd tag on and stick with him for the rest of the lap. There was no chance of that happening though this afternoon and if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't have believed it! It's been a tough few days so I'm looking forward to a day off and I think I'll take the family out and disappear to a beach somewhere!"
John has two races on Wednesday, the one lap TT Zero race and the second 4-lap Supersport encounter.
-- Milwaukee Yamaha Report
Milwaukee Yamaha recorded their first podium of TT2013 during today’s 4-lap Monster Energy Supersport Race 1 when Ballymoney’s William Dunlop took third place on his Yamaha R6. William will also collect a Silver Replica for his ninth place in today’s 4-lap Superstock race.
His team-mate Conor Cummins had a frustrating day with two retirements: the first in the Supersport race with handling issues on his Yamaha R6 and the second in the Superstock encounter, when an onboard camera came loose forcing him to pull in at Ramsey Hairpin.
Dunlop led the Supersport race in the early exchanges but had to give best to his brother Michael and Bruce Anstey on the podium, but three laps in excess of 126mph is encouraging, with another opportunity to take victory on Wednesday.
Dunlop said: “I got a good start in the Supersport race but couldn’t quite push as hard as I would like. We’ve made good progress but we should have been closer to the front on this bike, but it’s a good result for Milwaukee Yamaha. We will make a few changes and go for it again on Wednesday. The Superstock race wasn’t a bad result and I’m getting more familiar with the bike every time I ride it.”
Cummins said: “I’m absolutely gutted to be honest with that today. I was just struggling with the handling in the Supersport race and to try and do the lap speeds I wanted it just wasn’t safe to continue. There was no point wasting fuel and tyres, but I’m really disappointed I was up for a real go in that race. A camera came loose on the ’stocker and near had me off into Ramsey Hairpin. I was having an all right run on the R1, I just need more time on it. It can’t be helped and we still have a few races left to get some results.”
Shaun Muir concluded: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to give Milwaukee their first TT podium in the Supersport race on our Yamaha R6.In saying that I think William could have finished second today if he had been with that leading group on the road; it’s a lot different doing it on your own. Third is a good fair result and we have changes to make for Thursday to give him more speed, better handling and a few other things. He was also committed to push in the Superstock race, which pleased me, and buckled down for a top ten result despite carrying a shoulder injury.
“Conor had a tough day and is really struggling to find a set-up this week that he’s comfortable with, so we’ll be making a trip to Jurby tomorrow. He was fortunate to escape a serious crash when the camera came loose on his Superstock R1 Yamaha, but we hope to iron these problems out for him and make progress in the remaining races.”
-- James Hillier Report
James Hillier has been in superb form at the Isle of Man TT Races this week with the Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider setting personal best laps in all of the classes and taking three top seven positions in the three races held so far. The Hampshire rider has finished fifth, sixth and seventh to win three silver replicas and currently occupy fourth overall in the Joey Dunlop TT Championship.
After a practice week interrupted by weather, the opening Superbike race was delayed 24 hours until Sunday but a superb first lap, a new personal best of the 37 and 3/4 mile Mountain Course, of 128.749mph put James into a strong seventh place. Although he briefly slipped back to ninth place on the fourth lap, he regrouped well and with another 128mph+ lap on the sixth and final lap, he fought his way back up seventh at the chequered flag.
Despite a lack of practice time on the 600cc ZX-6R Kawasaki, Monday morning's 4-lap Supersport 600cc race was arguably one of James' finest TT rides to date as he finished in a superb fifth place. Circulating in close formation for the final two laps with eventual race winner Michael Dunlop, Bruce Anstey, John McGuinness and Cameron Donald, James lapped comfortably quicker than ever before in the middleweight class and with a final lap of 125.741mph, he was duly rewarded with an excellent fifth place.
With little time to rest, James was back out two hours later for the 4-lap Superstock race and a superb start saw James lie in second place as the riders swept through Glen Helen, nine miles into the opening lap. As the race wore on though, James slipped back slightly although he was still running inside the top six. With the bike losing power, he had to nurse the bike home on the final lap but held on to sixth for his third successive top seven finish.
Second team member Steve Heneghan has also been in good form, finishing in 25th place in the Superbike race and 31st in the Superstock, winning two bronze replicas.
Speaking later, a pleased James said; "It's been a really tough few days and I'm delighted to get through the three days with three good results. The start of the Superbike race went really well and to be running ‘P4’ at Glen Helen on the opening lap, and less than half a second down on John McGuinness, was ideal. At the start of he second lap though, the gear shifter broke and all I had to use was a little screw. John and Cameron caught me at Ballaugh and it wrecked my head a bit to be honest. It took me a while to get used to using the damaged shifter and then I had problems with my tear-offs. I took one off as planned but then the wind blew the second one off so I could barely see – when you start at number 1 you certainly get more than your share of bugs! I was on the verge of retiring but when Guy caught me I got back into my rhythm. I got held up by a couple of the tailenders and lost the tow so it was a hard race."
"It was a bit of a mixed bag on Monday with one race leaving me really happy and another leaving me a bit frustrated. I couldn't have asked for anything more from the Supersport race and to lap at almost 126mph was brilliant, especially as it came on the last lap. I led on the road for a long time but when the boys came by me, it was brilliant fun. There wasn't much between any of us and I was able to learn a lot from all of them. The Superstock race wasn't as good as I'd hoped though and we think there was an electrical problem as the bike was gradually losing power. I was way down on power along the straights so I was surprised that I was able to hold onto sixth. Overall though, it's been a great start to the week and I'm looking forward to the remaning three races."
Pete Extance, Team Manager: "It's been a great effort from the team so far and James has been in impressive form, setting some excellent lap times particularly on the Superbike and Supersport machines. We've had three great results from the three races although it feels slightly strange to be disappointed with the 6th place in the Superstock race this afternoon. We know what James is capable of so it's a shame a small electrical problem held him back. The whole team have been doing a great job with two good finishes from Steve as well so we're all looking forward to Wednesday and Friday's races now."
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