Hutchy’s Supersport Double, Double:
Continuing from where he left off in 2015, Ian Hutchinson maintained his domination of the Supersport class at TT 2016, successfully defending both Monster Energy Supersport race crowns.
Your’s truly’s series of race reports on Hutchinson’s 3rd, 4th consecutive Supersport TT successes with Keith Flint’s Team Traction Control outfit, are as follows:
Supersport Race 1:
Ian Hutchinson underlined his status as the pre race favourite, by going quickest to Glen Helen on lap 1 by 3.5 seconds over Dean Harrison, with Michael Dunlop 0.75 back in third.
James Hillier was 1.9 seconds back in fourth, followed by East Coast Racing’s Lee Johnston and John McGuinness, Jackson Racing CBR 600 Honda, in finalising the top six.
By Ballaugh Bridge, Hutchinson’s race lead was up to in excess of five seconds, as Michael Dunlop moved into second place 0.012 of a second in front of Dean Harrison.
At Ramsey Hairpin, Hutchinson’s lead was now 6.018 seconds over Dunlop, Harrison was 0.8 back on Dunlop, whilst James Hillier fourth, was enjoying a productive opening lap on the Quattro Plant Muc Off ZX6R Kawasaki.
Over the Mountain, Hutchinson increased the lead to in excess of nine seconds, by the end of lap one he held a 10.131 seconds advantage over Michael Dunlop.
Dean Harrison third, was 2.280 seconds behind the new TT Races lap record holder, James Hillier was fourth, John McGuinness held fifth as Lee Johnston concluded the top six.
Jamie Coward, RJP Racing ZX6R Kawasaki, was impressing in 11th, as was Dan Hegarty in 12th place.
Notable retirements on the opening lap included Michael Rutter (Bathams SMT Racing ZX6R Kawasaki) and Peter Hickman, who’s Trooper supported ZX6R Kawasaki encountered technical issues.
Onto lap two and the question was could Dunlop start to eat into Hutchinson’s lead?
First timing point at Glen Helen saw Hutchy increase the lead to 11.279 seconds, Dean Harrison maintained third place as Conor Cummins moved up to fifth on the Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Motorcycles CBR 600 Honda.
By Cronk Ny Mona on lap two, the lead was now getting up to nearly 13 seconds, Ian Hutchinson on the Came BPT YZF R6 Yamaha, was showcasing once again why he is considered one of the all time supersport greats on the Mountain Course.
The culmination of lap two, would see Ian Hutchinson hold a 12.838 seconds lead over Michael Dunlop, following a dazzling lap of 128.26 mph.
Dean Harrison was now dropping back in third but still hugely impressing on the Silicone Engineering Racing ZX6R Kawasaki.
Lee Johnston, East Coast Racing 675 Daytona Triumph, was battling away in seventh, keeping tabs on Conor Cummins, James Hillier and John McGuinness in fourth, fifth and sixth.
Following the scheduled pit stops, the only major change within the top six, at Glen Helen on lap three, was James Hillier slotting back into fourth in front of Conor Cummins.
Michael Dunlop was on a charge getting the race lead down to 10.175 seconds at Ramsey Hairpin, by the end of the lap though Ian Hutchinson upped the ante again, to increase his lead to 11.602 seconds.
Dean Harrison kept up a strong pace to remain third, whilst Hillier fourth, was just about holding off the attentions of Conor Cummins, who was 2.3 seconds behind the 2013 lightweight TT winner.
Jackson Racing’s John McGuinness remained sixth, although he wasn’t in contention today for a podium finish, the 23 times TT winner, was still producing a highly accomplished performance.
Having fought off a mid race challenge from Michael Dunlop, Ian Hutchinson held a comfortable lead out front at Ramsey Hairpin on the final lap, leading now by 12.913 seconds.
The lead grew and grew over the mountain, as the Came BPT Yamaha rider, was homing in on 12th TT victory.
Hutchy crossed the line at the end of lap four to clinch his 12th TT victory, his seventh in the supersport class.
Michael Dunlop second (prior to post race disqualification) was 14.303 seconds behind his on top form fellow competitor.
Dean Harrison third, was over the moon, to be back on the podium at the most famous road race in the world.
Dean’s third place finish was also Silicone Engineering Racing’s maiden international road race podium finish.
Hillier held off Cummins for fourth place, John McGuinness finished sixth as Lee Johnston, William Dunlop, Steve Mercer and Gary Johnson aboard the Team T3 Racing 675 Daytona Triumph concluded the top ten finishers.
Cameron Donald endured a challenging race on his way to eleventh, added stand out performances included James Cowton a more than creditable 12th on the Cowton Racing by Radcliffe’s CBR 600 Honda.
Jamie Coward hampered by a pit lane penalty finished 13th, PRF Racing’s Rob Hodson impressed in finishing 14th, Michal Dokoupil 16th, Colin Stephenson 18th, Dominic Herbertson in 20th place, Craig Neve 27th, additionally all enjoyed excellent races.
Supersport Race 2:
Following a lengthy delay the second Monster Energy Supersport TT race, got under way at 12:45 PM in spot on ideal conditions.
It’s fair to say TT 2016 has seen the TT Races, enjoy some of it’s best ever weather, with persistent warm, sunny conditions.
This has majorly helped the pace on track, which has been simply quite sensational, it was no different today.
As in the previous Monster Energy Supersport race, Ian Hutchinson set the pace at Glen Helen on the opening lap, but this time by only 0.689 over a determined Michael Dunlop, on his own teams YZF R6 Yamaha.
Dean Harrison, Bruce Anstey, James Hillier and Gary Johnson, were close behind, in slotting into third, fourth, fifth and sixth.
At Ballaugh Hutchinson’s lead was down to 0.111 over Dunlop, we had on our hands another classic duel between arguably at present, the world’s current top two in pure road racing.
Over the mountain Ian Hutchinson known for his pace and mastery of one of the most famous sections of the TT course, upped the ante moving by Cronk Ny Mona, 3.568 seconds clear of Michael Dunlop.
Photo by Mark Corlett
His lead out front at the end of the opening lap was now in excess of four seconds, Dunlop second indicating to his team in the pit lane possible problems on his YZF R6 Yamaha.
Dean Harrison third, was 7.6 seconds behind the Isle of Man TT lap record holder, Bruce Anstey was fifth as Conor Cummins finalised the top six.
Peter Hickman seventh, was showing highly accomplished form on the Trooper backed ZX6R Kawasaki.
Hutchinson’s advantage at the front of the field grew and grew on lap two, moving 6.245 seconds clear at Ramsey Hairpin, over Michael Dunlop.
Behind the formidable leading trio in third, Dean Harrison was impressing yet again at TT 2016, proving that he’s well and truly back to his best on the Mountain Course.
With a lead close to eight seconds at Cronk Ny Mona, it was obvious that Hutchinson and the Came BPT YZF R6 Yamaha, where starting to gain a strong grip on the race.
As the 13 time TT winner entered the pits, his lead over Michael Dunlop at the end of lap two, was a slightly reduced 7.150 seconds.
Dean Harrison in third place was just 3.451 seconds over Bruce Anstey on the Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Motorcycles CBR 600 Honda.
Conor Cummins was fifth, James Hillier sixth, Lee Johnston East Coast Racing 675 Daytona Triumph, was not far behind his fellow highly touted TT Races exponents.
Following the scheduled pit stop, Hutchinson by Glen Helen on lap three lead by almost 12 seconds, Dean Harrison increased his advantage over Bruce Anstey for third to 6.3 seconds, Conor Cummins fifth, was coming under increased pressure from Lee Johnston.
John McGuinness, Jackson Racing CBR 600 Honda, retired in a race, which marked his 90th competitive outing at the most famous road race in the world.
Ballaugh Bridge, Ramsey Hairpin, Bungalow and Cronk Ny Mona, all provided positive signals for race leader Ian Hutchinson, now 17.967 seconds clear of Michael Dunlop.
Although Dunlop trimmed the marginally to 17.898 seconds at the end of the third lap, Hutchinson was in firm control, he was on the cusp of becoming a 14 times TT winner.
Dean Harrison maintaining third had a fairly comfortable gap over Bruce Anstey in fourth, Conor Cummins remained fifth, but the man on the charge was James Hillier, reeling in both the Manxman and ten time TT winner.
In my opinion one of Ian Hutchinson’s greatest attributes is his ability to keep calm under pressure.
The final lap of the second Monster Energy Supersport race of TT 2016, showcased this attribute in full, as he kept up an ultra strong pace, alongside keeping cool, calm and collected in been on the verge of another chapter been added to his golden TT Races career.
With an advantage out front maintaining on lap four around 18 seconds or more, by Cronk Ny Mona leading by twenty seconds, he wasn’t far away from the finish line, a fourteenth TT victory beckoned.
He crossed the line on lap four, pulling a spectacular wheelie, as he celebrated a 14th TT win, which makes Hutchy now jointly with the great Mike Hailwood the fourth most successful rider in TT history.
Plus his win today, marked four supersport TT win’s in a row for Keith Flint’s Team Traction Control team, now running under the Came BPT Yamaha name.
Michael Dunlop finished second, following a typically determined and battling display from a rider who was in my opinion unfortunate to be excluded from the opening supersport race.
Although this result perhaps did not make up for the disappointment of what happened on Monday, a podium finish at the Isle of Man TT, is always a ground breaking achievement.
Dean Harrison third on the Silicone Engineering Racing ZX6R Kawasaki, made it a hat trick of podium finishes at TT 2016.
Following an excellent last lap, James Hillier finished fourth on the Quattro Plant Muc Off ZX6R Kawasaki, Bruce Anstey sealed fifth place, Lee Johnston finalised the top six finishers.
Conor Cummins was seventh, Peter Hickman a more than creditable eighth, Gary Johnson on the Team T3 Racing 675 Daytona Triumph finished ninth as Michael Rutter completed the top ten.
Steve Mercer 11th, Jamie Coward 12th, Ivan Lintin 13th, Martin Jessopp 14th, Bjorn Gunnarsson 20th, Craig Neve 24th and leading newcomer Michael Booth 43rd all impressed.
Incredible Lap Speeds, BMW Motorrad Duel, An Interesting Press Conference!:
The Pokerstars Senior TT of 2016 will be remembered for countless reasons, including Mountain Course pace going to the next level, an all round BMW Motorrad battle for honours and an interesting post race press conference.
As throughout the whole of TT 2016, the showpiece, blue riband Senior race revolved around International road racing heavyweights Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson.
After a substantial delay due to tiger some weather conditions around the Mountain Course, the Pokerstars Senior race got under way at 3:45 PM.
The anticipated duel between Dunlop and Hutchinson, began at Glen Helen on lap 1, as Hawk Racing’s Dunlop moved into race lead 1.805 seconds clear of Hutchinson. Dean Harrison, Lee Johnston, Gary Johnson and Peter Hickman where all closely matched in battling for third.
By Ballaugh Bridge, Dunlop increased the lead to 3.578 seconds, the TT Races lap record holder, fired up after what’s happened this week.
Penz 13 BMW’s Gary Johnson held third position 3.3 seconds behind Hutchinson, Harrison in fourth place was just 0.1 in front of Hickman as East Coast Racing’s Johnston rounded out the top six.
At the Bungalow, Hutchinson got Dunlop’s lead down to under three seconds, the battle between the two fastest riders in TT history, was heating up.
Through Cronk Ny Mona, Dunlop lead by three seconds, Peter Hickman now into third place, was holding off the attentions of Bruce Anstey, Gary Johnson and Dean Harrison.
As lap one concluded Michael Dunlop with a standing start lap of 133.256 mph, was 2.8 seconds in front of Ian Hutchinson, Hickman was third 7.8 seconds behind Hutchinson, the top six was finalised by Anstey and the exotic RC213V-S Honda, Gary Johnson and Silicone Engineering Racing’s Harrison.
Lap two saw the battle between Dunlop and Hutchinson intensify but it was Dunlop on the Hawk Racing S1000RR BMW, who was starting to gain a grip on the six lap race.
At the end of lap two, he held a 9.285 seconds lead over Hutchinson, following a magnificent new lap record of 133.962 mph, finishing so close to a 134 mph lap, stunning stuff from Michael.
After Peter Hickman’s retirement at Brandy well, Bruce Anstey slotted into third, No.1 plate holder McGuinness moved into fourth place, he was followed by Silicone Engineering Racing’s Harrison.
Lee Johnston was producing a highly accomplished performance on the East Coast Racing S1000RR BMW, same notion applied to lightweight TT winner Ivan Lintin.
Following the scheduled pit stop at the end of lap two, Dunlop moved further clear, out front, increasing his lead to over ten seconds by Ballaugh Bridge.
The pure road racing giants, by the end of lap three where separated by 11.2 seconds, Honda kingpin McGuinness was now into third place following an ultra slick pit stop was 30 seconds back.
Bruce Anstey and Dean Harrison, fourth and fifth, were starting to get closer and closer together on the overall timing, 2014 lightweight TT winner Harrison, was on a charge.
Dan Hegarty and Jamie Coward’s battle for TT privateers championship, looked set to go down to the final lap, whilst Honda Racing’s Conor Cummins, now into sixth place was gradually bringing himself into top five finishing contention.
There were no changes in the top six placing’s on lap four, as Dunlop held by Cronk Ny Mona pretty much the same lead as at the end of lap two, leading by 11.2 seconds.
As lap four came to a conclusion Dunlop lead Hutchinson by 10.611, McGuinness third was 34.5 back, Anstey fourth was been reeled in by an on top form Harrison, Cummins remained sixth.
The second pit stop of the race, pretty much ended Ian Hutchinson’s challenge as he endured a much longer pit stop than Dunlop, losing at least two or three seconds on his fellow illustrious competitor.
John McGuinness in third place, gained at least over ten seconds on Hutchinson in second, following another great pit stop from the Honda Racing team.
Harrison moved ahead of Anstey, to slot into fourth place, the rider holding second position in the TT 2016 Joey Dunlop championship, showcasing again his proven quality on the fabled, mythical Mountain Course.
The penultimate lap, can always be one that brings about reliability problems, or little issues for the race leaders.
For Michael Dunlop there was no such problems, holding a 14.999 second lead at Ramsey Hairpin, the supremely popular rider, had the race firmly in control.
On completion of lap five, Michael led by 14.594 seconds over Tyco BMW’s Hutchinson, McGuinness in third was 35.606 seconds back but enjoying another momentous race on his old faithful Honda Racing Superbike.
Harrison, Anstey and Cummins wrapped up the top six, Michael Rutter seventh on the Bathams SMT Racing S1000RR BMW and Lee Johnston East Coast Racing BMW, made it four BMW’s in the top eight.
So we went onto the final lap of the 2016 Pokerstars Senior TT with Michael Dunlop on the verge of another piece of TT history.
Getting the hammer down yet again on the Hawk Racing BMW, he got the race lead up in excess of 28 seconds by Cronk Ny Mona, having gained loads more time on Ian Hutchinson at Glen Helen, Ballaugh Bridge and Ramsey Hairpin.
Crossing the line at the sixth and final lap, Dunlop secured in style 2016 Pokerstars Senior TT victory.
It was his 13th TT victory, his second senior TT success and Hawk Racing’s fourth big bike TT win in three years.
Ian Hutchinson finishing in second place, completed a top class two weeks of pure road racing action, in extremely positive style.
John McGuinness finalised the podium finishers, to make it 46 TT podiums, future Senior TT Champ Harrison was a great fourth as Anstey and Cummins completed the top six.
Michael Rutter, Lee Johnston, James Hillier and Ivan Lintin wrapped up the top ten finishers.
Dan Hegarty finished a great 11th and sealed the TT privateers championship, Martin Jessopp, Derek Sheils, Shaun Anderson and Horst Saiger all hugely impressed in finishing respectively 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th.
The ensuing post race conference lets be honest wasn’t the finest hour for the TT and International road racing.
I remember at the time trying to remain neutral in difficult circumstances, I didn’t know the full facts as to what was rumoured, perceived, stated.
Fast forward almost four years and the Senior TT press conference still leaves me with more questions than answers, one for Mr Poirot I think!
Not Just MD/Hutchy Starring:
Outside of Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson, others to taste success at TT 2016 were Ivan Lintin making it back to back Lightweight class titles, Bruce Anstey claiming a first TT Zero triumph in Mugen colours.
John Holden/Andrew Winkle won a drama filled opening three lap Sidecar encounter as new outright lap record holders the Birchall’s Ben & Tom were cruelly denied race victory, retiring on the third and final lap at Sulby Cross Roads.
The Birchall’s would make amends for their misfortune in the second Sidecar race, taking the race spoils by almost 22 seconds over TT 2016 Sidecar Championship winners Holden/Cain.
Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes wrapped up the podium finishers, we must mention as well first time TT rostrum finishers from the opening Sidecar race stint, Peter Founds/Jevan Walmsley and Alan Founds/Aki Aalto.
As previously stated the late but great Dan Hegarty claimed the Privateers Championship whilst lead newcomer honours went to East Yorkshireman Mike Booth.
Overall a quite incredible TT meeting, countless lap records, race records, record breaking action, we had everything in 2016 on Mona’s Isle.
Words by Stevie Rial