Ian Hutchinson makes it a hat-trick with Supersport Race Two victory
Ian Hutchinson has completed a dominant double in the Monster Energy Supersport TT races on Wednesday, claiming his second win in the class this week in commanding form to celebrate the victory by an incredible 14.820 seconds from Bruce Anstey with Guy Martin taking his first podium for the week in third.
An emotional Hutchinson scored Team Traction Control their debut victory in the opening Supersport TT race on Monday and a stunning performance again this afternoon gave the determined Bingley Bullet a clean sweep in the Supersport class, adding to his victory in the Superstock race yesterday.
At Glen Helen on the opening lap, as has often been the case this week, it was the Quattro Plant Muc-Off Kawasaki of James Hillier that led, his gap over Hutchinson one second with Anstey in third only a tenth further back. Gary Johnson, Martin and Dean Harrison completed the top six although the latter was soon out at Ballaugh.
By Ramsey, Hutchinson was in the lead by a second from Hillier as Anstey closed to within two tenths of a second and with an opening lap of 127.093mph, the Bingley rider held a 3.8s advantage. Anstey was now up to second as Hillier slipped four seconds further back and was now coming under pressure from Martin. Gary Johnson and Lee Johnston were holding onto fifth and sixth but Michael Dunlop, whose participation was in doubt, retired at the pits, Dunlop conserving himself for the Senior TT later in the week.
With perfect conditions all round the course, Hutchinson pressed on during lap two and extended his lead throughout. Indeed, in what would prove to be the fastest lap of the race, 127.751mph, the gap to Anstey, who also lapped at more than 127mph, was over eight seconds as they came into refuel at the end of lap two. Martin had moved ahead of Hillier for third whilst Johnson and Johnston maintained station.
Hutchinson added a couple of seconds to his lead by the time they swept round Ramsey Hairpin for a third time but Kiwi Anstey went up and down the Mountain quicker and had brought the deficit down to 8.6s as they headed into the final lap.
Martin, Hillier, Johnson and Johnston were all secure in third to sixth with a good battle for seventh taking place between the Hondas of John McGuinness, Conor Cummins and Dan Kneen.
At the head of the field though, Hutchinson wasn’t to be denied and once he realised Anstey was charging, he turned up the wick and came home the winner by an eventual 14.8s. Anstey took his fourth podium of the week in second once more with Martin getting third on the Smiths Racing Triumph.
Speaking straight after the race Hutchinson said: “I did my usual of keeping in contention at the begging and not do anything stupid. I had +7 on my board earlier than I did in Monday’s race and it was going pretty good, although I was a little bit concerned as I had a brand new engine, but the bike felt great. I knew I couldn’t relax too much and I pushed on for the last lap and this just feels fantastic. It is an amazing feeling to do the double, especially as it all came together at the last minute.”
Traction Control’s Keith Flint commented: “What a man – that was the longest 17 minutes of my life and I am absolutely speechless! Hats off to Hutchy, this is no fairytale it is down to sheer determination and grit that has got him here and I am so proud of him, the boys, the whole team to make this happen. It means so much to me.”
Riding the factory supported Smiths Triumph Daytona 675R; Guy Martin had ran inside the top five from the very beginning of the four lap race and gradually moved his way up into the final podium position as the race wore on. Aided by two 126mph plus laps, as well as a slick pit-stop, the 33-year-old Lincolnshire rider brought the British-built machine home nine seconds clear of James Hillier.
Guy Martin: “The bike worked a treat and to be fair, it’s better than the third place I gave it. I can’t fault the team at all and when Hutchy came past me, I tried to hang on to him but he’s riding so well. He started to pull away from me and was riding brilliantly so I just started to ride to my boards. I could see I was in third so rode my own race and just concentrated on securing the podium place.”
Hillier put in his best ever Supersport ride to take fourth with Johnson and Johnston in fifth and sixth as they had been for much of the race. Cummins got the verdict for seventh by just 0.04s from team-mate McGuinness with Kneen in ninth.
David Johnson also had a fine ride on the Triumph machine as he finished in tenth place to maintain the team’s 100% finishing record at this year’s event. The Adelaide rider posted a best lap on his final lap around the Mountain Course at 125.587mph, his best ever on a Supersport machine to round out the top ten.
It came on the back of a brilliant ride in yesterday’s RL360 Superstock TT race when he took his second best position at the TT with sixth place on the Smiths BMW S1000RR, also recording a new personal best lap in excess of 129mph.
David Johnson: “We fitted a bigger screen for today’s Supersport race and it was a lot better than Monday with 4mph gained down Sulby Straight. I got into the race quickly and found a good rhythm whilst the pit stop was perfect. To lap at over 125mph on a Supersport machine was phenomenal and I was only three seconds off eighth so I can’t complain. Having finished fourth in last year’s Superstock race, I was a little disappointed initially with sixth but when I looked at the times and who finished behind me, I have to be happy. My race time was quicker than last year’s race winning time and that’s how much the pace has moved on at the TT.I’m really enjoying the week and the team are doing an awesome job so roll on Friday.”
Peter Hickman put in a superb closing lap of 126mph on the Trooper MV Agusta to claim an excellent 11th place.
Starting off at number 17 again, the Louth-based rider opened his account with a first lap speed of 123.485mph to slot into 10th place although David Johnson pushed him back to 11th place a lap later. Another good pit stop by the team enabled him to maintain his position although Johnson’s third lap saw him over ten seconds clear.
On the last lap around the Mountain Course, Hicky really flew though and despite still finishing in 11th place, he became one of the few riders to record a lap on a Supersport machine in excess of 126mph. Indeed, his lap of 126.083mph was the fifth fastest of the race as he closed to within six seconds of Johnson at the chequered flag.
Peter Hickman: “It was a mega ride and I’m well happy with both the result and the final lap speed. It took me a while to get going after being on the 1000cc bike the day before and I’d never ridden a 600cc bike before this week so it was a bit difficult to get dialled in. Once I did though, I enjoyed every minute and the bike never missed a beat. We had a bit of a problematical week of practice but completed the two four-lap races so a massive thanks to Robinson’s Brewery and Trooper for all their support.”
Cameron Donald took 13th place on a Padgetts Honda CBR600R ahead of Jamie Hamilton and Daniel Cooper.
Hutchinson’s win saw him move on to 95 points in the race for the TT Championship, some 23 points clear of Anstey with Hillier holding onto third on 52 points. It also moved Hutchinson on to 11 TT wins to equal Michael Dunlop, Steve Hislop and Phillip McCallen.
Meanwhile, Dan Cooper continues to lead the TT Privateer’s Championship with 81 points, 11 clear of Jamie Hamilton, the duo finishing 15th and 14th respectively in today’s race.
Monster Energy Supersport TT Race Two Results 2015
Ian Hutchinson – Kawasaki – 125.803
Bruce Anstey – Honda – 125.373
Guy Martin – Triumph – 124.877
James Hillier – Kawasaki – 124.618
Gary Johnson – Yamaha – 124.231
Lee Johnston – Triumph – 123.840
Conor Cummins – Honda – 123.280
John McGuinness – Honda – 123.279
Dan Kneen – Honda – 123.223
David Johnson – Triumph – 123.155
Peter Hickman – MV Agusta – 122.984
Ivan Lintin – Kawasaki – 121.699
Cameron Donald – Honda – 121.693
Jamie Hamilton – Honda – 121.596
Daniel Cooper – Honda – 121.483
Most TT wins in all solo classes
26 – Joey Dunlop
21 – John McGuinness
14 – Mike Hailwood
11 – Michael Dunlop, Steve Hislop, Phillip McCallen, Ian Hutchinson
10 – Giacomo Agostini, Ian Lougher, Stanley Woods, Bruce Anstey
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