2019 Isle of Man TT

RST Superbike Race

After what had been a tumultuous first week of TT 2019, race action finally got underway at 1105 on Monday morning. Even Monday’s schedule had to be amended numerous times from the planned 1045 start. Firstly a medical emergency at Ramsey involving a member of the public put us back ten minutes as an ambulance was on course to attend that person. Then some problems with spectators at some parts of the course, and a motorcycle on fire at Creg Ny Baa added another small delay but Conor Cummins launched out of the hole at 1105 and TT 2019 was finally underway!

IOMTT Superbike Race Start David Johnson
David Johnson was cool as a cucumber ahead of the Superbike TT as his mechanics fuelled his bike only moments before the race start

Preparation for many of the Superbike runners had been problematic with the extremely limited track time. Any motorcycle problems had caused riders to miss an entire session, thus many of the riders participating in this four-lap Superbike TT had hardly completed a lap of the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.

IOMTT Superbike Race Start Conor Cummins
#1 Conor Cummins was the first rider off the start-line for TT 2019

Still, it would be fair to say that the smart money today would be on Peter Hickman or Dean Harrison. That form guide proved true early on with a 132.48mph from a standing start for Dean Harrison saw him take the lead early but Peter Hickman was only 1.088-seconds behind as they crossed the line at the end of that first lap.

Conor Cummins was in third place ahead of James Hillier and Michaell Rutter, while Michael Dunlop was sixth on the Tyco BMW ahead of Gary Johnson and South Australia’s David Johnson.

John McGuinness came in to the pits on the Norton at the end of lap one with an oil pressure light indicating that not all was well with the British machine.

IOMTT Race Superbike Dean Harrison
Dean Harrison

Dean Harrison was on fire and nudging sector record times to extend his lead over Hickman to almost five-seconds at Ballaugh Bridge on lap two. Shortly after that sector he passed Conor Cummins on the road, the Honda man had started first, ten-seconds head of Harrison, but the Kawasaki man had closed him down.

Peter Hickman was now wound up though and he clawed back those five-seconds on Harrison in that latter half of the second lap.

IOMTT Race Superbike Hickman Hutchinson
Peter Hickman

Conor Cummins had also got the better of Harrison between Ramsey and Bungalow, that tussle perhaps a factor in slowing down Harrison a little on that second lap.

Into the pits

Conor Cummins and Dean Harrison the first riders into the pits, but still out on course, after starting from #10, Peter Hickman was the new race leader ahead of his pit-stop. In the final sector before his pit-stop Hickman had extended his buffer out to a 1.78-second lead over Harrison.

David Johnson was up to seventh place on the Honda Racing Fireblade.

The final two laps…

Through the first split after the pit stops Hickman’s advantage had been trimmed to 0.690-seconds over Harrison, but the pit stops had seen the Kawasaki get away in front of Conor Cummins, who while just over ten-seconds behind him on time, was running with him on track, while holding down third place in the race.

IOMTT Race Superbike Cummins
Conor Cummins

Michael Rutter was in fourth place ahead of Michael Dunlop while David Johnson had moved up to sixth place. Lee Johnston then retired from the race.

Red Flag

An incident on the circuit at Snugborough, just before Union Mills, then caused officials to put the red flag out. It was some time before we got an update as to whether the race would be started again, or if it would be declared as results. They were past the halfway mark thus declaration was an option for officials. It was around 45-minutes later that officials finally made the call to declare the race, presumably the incident was very serious and the clean-up time deemed to be lengthy.

Peter Hickman declared winner

Results for the race were declared as at the end of lap two, at which point Hickman had a narrow lead over Dean Harrison.

Conor Cummins takes the final step on the subdued rostrum ahead of James Hillier and Michael Rutter.

Michael Dunlop finishes sixth ahead of David Johnson and Jamie Coward. Gary Johnson ninth and Davey Todd rounded out the top ten.

Peter Hickman also carded the fastest lap of the race at 132.947 mph.

Daley Mathison R.I.P.

The red flag had been caused by the crash of Daley Mathison. He was subsequently declared deceased.

Mathison was a vastly experienced 27-year-old with both TT and Oliver’s Mount podium finishes, along with a win at the Ulster GP in the Lightweight class. He also raced Macau and twice won the European MotoE Championship

Plenty of smiling faces, with the 2017 Zero TT noteworthy for having all participants finish and Bruce Anstey take top honours
Daley Mathison pictured here (left) in 2017 on the TT Zero podium alongside winner Bruce Anstey and second placed getting Guy Martin.

RST Superbike TT Race Results

  1. Peter Hickman (BMW)
  2. Dean Harrison +1.782 (Kawasaki)
  3. Conor Cummins +9.345 (Honda)
  4. James Hillier +41.719 (Kawasaki)
  5. Michael Rutter +54.610 (Honda)
  6. Michael Dunlop +57.316 (BMW)
  7. David Johnson +70.145 (Honda)
  8. Jamie Coward +71.181 (Yamaha)
  9. Gary Johnson +77.645 (Kawasaki)
  10. Davey Todd +86.634 (BMW)
  11. Brian McCormack +86.983 (BMW)
  12. Sam West +88.818 (BMW)
  13. Ian Hutchinson +99.070 (Honda)
  14. Philip Crowe +110.337 (BMW)
  15. Lee Johnston +112.518 (BMW)
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