John McGuinness took his 23rd TT victory and shattered Bruce Anstey’s outright lap record from last year’s Superbike race with a sensational speed of 132.701mph as he came home 14.2s clear of James Hillier in the PokerStars Senior race with Ian Hutchinson in third.The victory came after the original race was red flagged on the second lap and a shortened four lap race was restarted at 2.45pm.
John McGuinness – “Today was a new day. I’ve been struggling a little this week, which is no-one’s fault. I have been slow off the line and losing a bit of time, and I needed to find the form I had a few years ago.
“In the restart I didn’t want James Hillier to catch me, so off the start I gave it my all, got my head down and pushed as hard as I could. Lap two I really did give it everything I could and the reaction coming in to the pits was amazing – it felt like it did when I broke the first 130mph lap. My team got me through the pits perfectly and going into the third lap the reaction from the crowd was great and I did think I’d taken the outright lap record.
“I’d like to say a huge thanks to the marshals and the medics out there around the course, who do a fantastic job, and of course to my team and Honda for believing that it was still possible. Riding round the Isle of Man with a 17-second lead felt pretty special!”
Neil Tuxworth – Honda Racing Manager – “What a great day for John, the team and of course Honda to win what I suppose is the most iconic race of the week, the Senior TT. John rode superbly and, as I told him, he’s still the man who holds the race record round here on that bike and I knew he had the ability to win the race if he set his mind to it. It was obvious he was in the right mindset today. On lap one when he got to Glen Helen we knew he was fighting for a win and I’m just so pleased for him. He’s been a bit down on himself this week and lost a bit of confidence, which he didn’t need to do, as he’s very strong, along with the CBR and the team. Our lads did an excellent job in the pits and pulled about 10-seconds back. We’re so pleased it was a superb performance and we’re over the moon for him.”
McGuinness had took the lead from Hillier at the Bungalow on the opening lap and when Hutchinson made a mistake at Signpost Corner just before the solitary pit stop, he was able to pull away for his seventh Senior race victory.
At Glen Helen first time around, Hillier was again in the lead but it was close with McGuinness only eight tenths behind and Hutchinson just a tenth adrift of the Honda rider. Anstey was holding onto fourth ahead of Johnson and Dunlop but Martin had a really poor start and was way down in 13th place.
By Ramsey, Hillier still led but his advantage was down to six tenths of a second and it was now McGuinness in second with Hutchinson down to third, four tenths further back. Anstey was in fourth with two seconds covering the leading four with Dunlop now in fifth and Hickman sixth.
An opening lap of 131.850mph – the fastest ever from a standing start – gave McGuinness a 1.2s lead over Hutchinson with Hillier back to third, a further 1.8s back. Anstey, Dunlop and Hickman filled out the top six, the latter having posted his first ever 130mph+ lap, with Martin getting going in seventh.
McGuinness added half a second to his lead as they swept through Glen Helen for the second time with the top five remaining the same although Martin had moved up to sixth ahead of Hickman. The lead was back up to 1.9s at Ramsey although Martin was now up to fourth, tucking in behind Hutchinson on the road.
A stunning, new outright lap record of 132.701mph gave McGuinness the lead and the gap had shot up to 10.9s as Hutchinson overshot at Signpost. Hillier remained in third but he was only 0.6s ahead of Martin as the Tyco BMW rider also broke the old outright lap record with a lap of 132.398mph. Anstey was now in fifth and Dunlop sixth and in an astonishing lap, the first 11 riders all lapped at more than 130mph.
The order remained the same at Glen Helen on lap three and McGuinness had added almost a second and a half to his lead. Hutchinson, in turn, was over five seconds clear of Hillier who had also edged away from Martin also to the tune of five seconds but Dunlop was slipping back and was now in eighth.
The Morecambe Missile added another second on the run to Ramsey and as he started his final lap around the Mountain Course, his advantage over Hutchinson was an impressive 17.5s. Hillier was a further 6.6s in arrears and he was coming under serious pressure from Martin once more with the difference between the duo now just 2.5s.
McGuinness was in full control of the race and all eyes were on the battle for second now as Hillier took over the second podium position at Ballaugh, extending his gap to Hutchinson to four seconds as they rounded Ramsey Hairpin for the final time.
It was all about McGuinness though and the Honda man duly came home for his 23rd TT victory, equalling the seven Senior TT wins of Mike Hailwood. Hillier completed his excellent week in second, also lapping inside the old lap record at 132.414mph, with Hutchinson holding onto third from Martin.
Hutchinson had the consolation of winning the overall Joey Dunlop TT Championship and with Dan Cooper finishing in 17th place, he secured the TT Privateer’s Championship.
Ian Hutchinson – PBM Kawasaki – 3rd – “It’s been an amazing week and I really wanted a Superbike race win for Paul Bird but I made a mistake at Signpost and then blew a hole in the exhaust so I had to limp home.I finished on the podium again though and I’ve had a mega week. It’s testament to Paul for giving me so much time on the bikes before coming here and after having a good North West 200 we arrived all raring to go. After everything I’ve been through these last five years, to come back, be competitive and win races has been superb and the future’s looking good. John’s pretty special at the TT so to be sitting next to him today and having been such a part of his career is superb.”
Paul Bird, PBM Kawasaki Team Manager: “It’s been a great week and to take three rostrum finishes from three races is fantastic, especially as it’s our first time back at the TT in 12 years. It’s a shame we couldn’t have ended with a Superbike win in today’s Senior but the bike finished and we’ve taken a first, second and third. I’m chuffed to bits for Ian and for the whole team; they’ve worked tirelessly and deserve the success they’ve had.”
Dunlop – whose final lap was 132.515mph – and Cummins took fifth and sixth as Anstey faded to eighth and so it was Hickman who took seventh. David Johnson finished ninth and Michael Rutter tenth.
Conor Cummins – 5th – “I had a better race today and it’s safe to say it was an electric pace over the four laps. We made an adjustment to the Fireblade after the red flag, which made things a lot better, but it took me some time to adjust and the pace was so fast. I did my best and my team put a lot of work in to make things better for me out there. The last two laps I started to pick up my pace and was making up time. I’m happy with my race and huge congratulations to John for his win – he rode a great race. Also, thanks to Honda for giving me a great bike to ride around here.”
Peter Hicman – 7th – “Today’s been absolutely mega and the whole two weeks have been awesome. After coming close in the Superstock race, I’m so pleased to get my first 130mph laps in and to end up with a 131.6 is incredible. I’m over the moon with how this year’s TT has gone so a massive thanks to everyone for all their support and especially everyone at Lee Hardy Racing, Briggs Equipment and Jack Valentine at ValMoto.”
James Hamilton was the rider involved in the incident before the re-start and he was taken by airmed to Nobles Hospital where his condition was described as serious but not considered life threatening. Cameron Donald rode through the ensuing fireball from Hamilton’s crash and also had a bird strike later on in the race and failed to finish on the Norton.
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