Ian Hutchinson wins Superstock TT
Ian Hutchinson won his second race of the week at the 2015 Isle of Man TT races, fuelled by Monster Energy, when he took the RL360 Superstock race on Tuesday afternoon obliterating Michael Dunlop’s race record by 32 seconds. In a stunning race the top four – Hutchinson, Michael Dunlop, Lee Johnston and James Hillier were all inside the old mark.
PBM Kawasaki’s Ian Hutchinson took control at the half race distance point and the ‘Bingley Bullet’ eventually ran home victor by just under 20 seconds from early leader Michael Dunlop. Lee Johnston nipped in for the final podium place, his first TT podium finish, after getting the better of James Hillier in a thrilling final lap.
Dunlop set the early pace and he led at Glen Helen by 1.1s from Hillier with Hutchinson in third and Guy Martin in fourth ahead of Johnston and Gary Johnson. By Ramsey, the Northern Irishman still led and had added a second to his lead with Hutchinson now relegating Hillier to third.
An opening lap of 130.932 gave Dunlop the lead from Hutchinson by 1.6s with Martin now up to third, 3.3s behind. All three were over 130mph with Hillier, Johnston and Hickman completing the top six.
The gap remained the same for the first half of the second lap but Hutchinson started to reel Dunlop in, getting the gap down to 0.8s at Ramsey. However, the MD Racing BMW rider responded and as they came into the pits, his lead was back up to 1.9s. Martin had dropped back and was now eight seconds adrift with Johnston, Hillier and Hickman maintaining their top six positions. Johnston posted his first 130mph lap of the Mountain Course at 130.285.
At the pit stop, Hutchinson changed his rear tyre whilst Martin lost a significant amount of time when the Tyco BMW refused to fire. However, the change in rubber worked wonders for Hutchinson and with more grip, he shot into the lead at Glen Helen, his margin over Dunlop now 2.7s.
Indeed, as the lap wore on, he continued to pull away and his advantage was almost ten seconds going into the final lap. Martin had dropped all the way down to seventh and it was Hillier, circulating on the road with Dunlop, who was now up into third ahead of Johnston, Hickman and David Johnson.
Hutchinson wasn’t to be denied his second win of the week and he increased his lead all the way round the final 37.73 miles to eventually cross the line 17.2s clear for his tenth TT victory. Hutchinson joins prestigious company such as Giacomo Agostini, Stanley Woods, Ian Lougher and New Zealand’s Bruce Anstey, all with ten TT wins under their belt. Anstey’s tenth coming earlier in the week with his Superbike win, while Hutchinson became the 13th man to reach the double-figure tally of TT wins.
Ian Hutchinson: “In the four years I’ve been out, Michael’s been the man to beat so to win today and get the better of him makes the win extra special. I’ve worked really hard and all the time I’ve spent in the gym over winter getting fit has paid off although I was a bit unsure about our chances when the team told me about the wheel change. Every rider will tell you that having a wheel change is an incredibly scary thing but fair play to Sam Neate, he did a mega job and it gave the initiative I needed. It was always going to be the hardest race of the week but the team did a fantastic job and there was no panic or drama as far as that was concerned. I was worried as I started running low on fuel at the Bungalow on the last lap so I drafted John McGuinness down the Mountain to conserve it and I was also on the path at Bedstead one lap so it wasn’t all plain sailing.”
Paul Bird, PBM Kawasaki Team Owner: “I’m chuffed to bits with today’s win and especially pleased for Ian. It’s a big ask for the Kawasaki going against the BMW in Superstock-spec but we worked things out and thought changing the tyre would give us the advantage we needed. Ian kept in touch with Michael in those first two laps and the new tyre was a big factor in the win. Full credit to the boys in the team and after all the effort Ian’s put in to get back racing competitively, no-one deserves it more.”
Michael Dunlop had to settle for second but the battle for third went all the way to the chequered flag and it was Johnston who grabbed it from Hillier by just 0.270s after a stunning final lap of 130.851.
Hickman took a brilliant fifth in just his second TT with fellow BMW riders David Johnson and Guy Martin following him home in sixth and seventh. The three Hondas of John McGuinness, Bruce Anstey and Conor Cummins completed the top ten.
Peter Hickman: “I’m gutted I ran out of fuel towards the end of both the second and fourth laps of the Superstock race, especially on the last lap as the bike completely died coming out of Governor’s Bridge. I was in 2nd gear so pulled the clutch in and literally rolled across the line. Had it not been for that, it could have been third and had my first ever 130mph lap. Everything else was mint and although I’m disappointed, I’m also pleased as it’s my best ever TT performance.”
David Johnson was very happy with his sixth place result – “Rode my ass off today! Everyone was pushing! My race time was 10 seconds quicker than the winning time of last year.. And I was 6th… Some big names behind me so I have to be happy , And I beat my personal fastest ever lap, 129.4mph on a stocker.”
Most TT wins in all solo classes
- 26 – Joey Dunlop
- 21 – John McGuinness
- 14 – Mike Hailwood
- 11 – Michael Dunlop, Steve Hislop, Phillip McCallen
- 10 – Giacomo Agostini, Ian Lougher, Stanley Woods, Bruce Anstey, Ian Hutchinson
- 9 – David Jefferies, Charlie Williams
William Dunlop out of TT week with injury
Tyco BMW has confirmed that rider William Dunlop has been ruled out of the rest of this year’s Isle of Man TT races following a crash at Laurel Bank during yesterday’s Superstock qualifying session.
William was happy with his BMW Motorrad S1000RR machine and was on course for an impressive lap time before the incident, but most importantly William was not seriously injured.
He has sustained a broken rib and severe bruising and although very disappointed to be losing him from the remainder of the event, Tyco BMW team manager Philip Neill said:
“It’s a cruel blow for William and obviously for the team at what is effectively the biggest road racing event of the year for us all. We had high hopes for William in our first year here at the TT with BMW Motorrad, but we are relieved that he is relatively unscathed, having crashed at a very unforgiving part of the circuit.”
Keith Amor out of the TT
Keith Amor’s 2015 Isle of Man TT campaign ended abruptly and on a painful note on Monday when the RigDeluge® Road Racing rider crashed at Stella Maris on the second lap of the four-lap Supersport race.
The Falkirk ace was lying in ninth place at the time and moving up the leaderboard when he crashed out and although he was able to walk to the air ambulance, he’s currently in hospital awaiting MRI scans on possible fractures in his neck, back, ankle, arm and shoulder.
Riding the Honda CBR600RR, Keith’s opening lap of 123.988mph put him into a solid tenth place but only ten seconds adrift of sixth and on his second lap he put in his best ever 600cc sector time from the start to Glen Helen. He’d moved up to ninth and was only four seconds behind seventh placed Conor Cummins at the time so a top six position was most definitely on the cards.
Sadly, it wasn’t to be and he crashed out two thirds of the way around the lap, subsequently being flown to Nobles Hospital by Airmed.
Keith Amor: “I came through Whitegates, the preceding corner, in a higher gear than normal, which improved my line but my glove had rolled back so when I tipped into Stella Maris and was on the throttle, the glove caught the brake lever and locked the front wheel. I managed to save the front but I was in third gear, travelling at about 80mph and ran out of road, hitting the bales head on.
“It fired me down the road but I jumped up straightaway and walked to the helicopter although I knew I’d given myself a fair old bashing. I’d somehow damaged my face as well and feel very second hand and am literally just lying here now waiting to go for scans. I’ve got some old injuries in those areas so I’m hoping that’s what it is. It’s a real shame as I was getting more and more into the race and was hopeful of a top five finish. I’d had a bit of arm pump early on but hadn’t had any moments and was getting into a good rhythm. It is what it is and sadly my TT’s over but we’ll look to get back to full fitness as soon as possible.”