Dunlop, Cummins and Hillier talk Superbike TT
RST Superbike race victory was Michael Dunlop’s after early leader and new outright lap record holder Dean Harrison was forced to retire due to a clutch failure. The win was Dunlop’s 16th at the TT and he brought the Tyco BMW home ahead of Conor Cummins and James Hillier.
Further back, David Johnson equalled his best ever TT result in fourth while Rutter saw off a late charge from Lee Johnston to hold onto fifth.
Martin Jessopp took his best ever 1000cc result around the Mountain Course in a fine seventh with Ivan Lintin and Phil Crowe doing likewise in eighth and ninth, the latter only a fraction off his maiden 130mph+ lap with a speed of 129.957mph. Australian Josh Brookes completed the top ten on the Norton.
Trev had a front row seat at the podium press conference, took some notes and snapped these shots.
Michael Dunlop – Superbike TT – 1st
“The team worked hard, I’d just like to thank the boys and everyone that worked in the pits. We just struggled at the start, and most of the race with an issue in the rear…
“The team has been fantastic this week, it really has. There’s no doubt about that, straight off the box…. I seemed to struggle for the first two laps, then dug deep and it started working and I didn’t stop.
“We’re just chipping away, we made a step today, and maybe it didn’t work in the right direction and we made it back in the race, and the bike never missed a beat, so a shout out to Marty’s workers.
“It has also been very good getting me on the bike as quick as possible, a wee bit more time would have been nicer, but we’re starting to address it now, and just need to ride it a bit harder.
“We had to change the bike since the NW200, to try and get something I’m comfortable with, but we’re still genuinely a bit away from that, and that’s the dedication of the team that they can do the pace. I’ve said it a long while, the pace has got very hot, sub 17s is what it is. We’ll work hard during the week and push for the 16s.
“If I’m good enough on the day I’ll push…. The day I stop fighting is the day I’ll take my helmet off. We’ll just keep pushing.
“I just need to up my pace (Monday) which we’ll all do, and try and get the bike working hard. We’ll just see what happens Monday.”
James Hillier – Superbike TT – 3rd
“I know what I can do around here, and we’ve been working on more race pace and getting a feeling from the bike, which we still haven’t go 100 per cent and we will get stronger I think as week goes on. Credit to Dean Harrison though he came past me fast and smooth, I was shocked how soon he came past me, and I was no way going to compete with that today.
“It was a funny race actually, I don’t remember that much of it. I was focused on hitting my markers and doing the best with what we had and push on. Some good pit boards and riding steady for the last laps, when you’re in a half decent position, you just try and look after the bike a little bit and remember sections and gather data to help with the rest of the week. It was a good start to racing and credit to my team for building a good bike to do this six laps as strong as it did.
“The biggest thing is really the suspension, we’re still learning and the potential is there, we just need to find it. So we’ll be taking steps forward every time we ride and it’s going to be tough with the pace, and everyone here watching is in for some good racing if the weather stays as forecast.
“I never force the times and I just try and ride within my limits, so if we can get the setup I believe I can do the times, but let’s just see what it brings.”
Conor Cummins – Superbike TT – 2nd
“It’s what James said, the pace is just red hot this year, and for the pace to keep improving all week. I’m ready and happy for where I’ve been riding all year, and just focusing on the TT.
“I’ve done some BSB at the start of the year as well to get up to speed, and you know I got to give every credit to Padgetts Motorcycles. They were up till half 6 this morning, readying the bike, burning the midnight oil, putting on a massive effort to give me the bike today. Thanks team for that and hopefully the results will keep coming through the rest of the week.
“I feel like it’s just coming towards me (sub 17 pace), the ride and the pace improve each time I get on the bike. We’ve been making little tweaks of the bike all week, and thanks to the Padgetts team. It happens every time I get on the bike, I’m going forward. I don’t want to shout my mouth off, but I think we’ve got pace for certainly into the low 17s anyway.
“It’s also been a terrible week [with Dan Kneen passing away] and you know I’ve felt it quite a bit to be honest. I was certainly thinking about Dan going around there today, and all his family and friends, and team obviously. It’s been a sad week.”
2018 Isle of Man Superbike TT Race Results
- Michael Dunlop (BMW) 1:44:13.398
- Conor Cummins (Honda) 1:45:04.259
- James Hillier (Kawsaki) 1:45:25.919
- David Johnson (BMW) 1:45:58.637
- Michael Rutter (BMW) 1:47:27.374
- Lee Johnston (Honda) 1:47:42.014
- Martin Jessopp (BMW) 1:48:04.898
- Ivan Lintin (Kawasaki) 1:48:07:017
- Phillip Crowe (BMW) 1:48:12.101
- Josh Brookes (Norton) 1:48:14.276