Road Racing News

Road Racing’s Great Races: 2014 Superbike TT

Going into the 2014 international roads season, the main topic on pretty much every roads aficionados lips, was how competitive would Michael Dunlop be aboard the factory backed Hawk Racing BMW.

After a successful North West 200, practice week at TT 2014 would tricky at times, with slight issues halting the progress of the BMW around the Mountain Course.

With this in mind, some bold but ultimately imperative decisions where made ahead of the Dainese Superbike race.

One of them was to make a last minute switch back to Dunlop Tyres from Metzeler rubber. Almost immediately the decision bared fruit, as he stormed to the top of the practice week leaderboard, lapping at 131.501 mph, during Friday evening’s practice session.

Come Superbike race day, now established for many as the pre race favourite, all eyes where on Dunlop to see whether he could provide BMW with a first big bike TT title, since Georg Meier’s 1939 Senior TT success.

The likes of Tyco Suzuki’s Guy Martin, Padgett’s Bruce Anstey and new Honda Racing signing Conor Cummins where all confident of pushing the BMW, which had been equipped with a factory engine, producing in excess of 224 BHP (Break horsepower).

In virtually ideal conditions, it was Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s James Hillier who slotted into a surprise early lead at Glen Helen, it wasn’t long though till Dunlop hit the front.

From Ballaugh Bridge on lap 1, the combination of the ultra determined Ballymoney racer and the BMW, which now looked like the complete package, steadily claimed a stern grip on the race.

Ultimately emerging victorious by 20 seconds, helped by a standing start lap record of 131.73, then bettered on lap 2, lapping at 131.89 mph, his at the time eighth TT win, will 100 percent rank amongst his most satisfying.

I state this view cause, prior to joining BMW, he had quit for many the foremost international roads team, in the form of Honda Racing.

Race runner up Guy Martin, produced one of his best ever TT performances, whilst Conor Cummins in third also had reason to be extremely happy.

Michael Dunlop’s new outright lap record from lap one, stood for just over an hour! as fourth place finisher Bruce Anstey, on the sixth and final lap, set the first ever 132 mph lap, on the Mountain Course.

His lap speed of 132.298 mph, at the time and still is a reminder of why the flying Kiwi, has to be regarded amongst pure road racing’s all time greats.

Michael Rutter, William Dunlop, John McGuinness, Dean Harrison, early race leader James Hillier, Josh Brookes finalised the top ten in a race, which also marked future Joey Dunlop Championship winner, Peter Hickman’s first TT race outing.

2014 Dainese Superbike TT Results:

1 Michael Dunlop
2 Guy Martin
3 Conor Cummins
4 Bruce Anstey
5 Michael Rutter
6 William Dunlop
7 John McGuinness
8 Dean Harrison
9 James Hillier
10 Josh Brookes
11 Dan Kneen
12 David Johnson
13 Lee Johnston
14 Peter Hickman
15 Dan Stewart
16 Jimmy Storrar
17 Ivan Lintin
18 Russ Mountford
19 Stefano Bonetti
20 Dan Cooper
21 Horst Saiger
22 Ian Pattinson
23 Paul Owen
24 Ian Mackman
25 Stephen Thompson
26 Martin Jessopp
27 Michael Sweeney
28 Mark Parrett
29 Gary Carswell
30 Ben Wylie
31 Kiaran Hankin
32 Karl Harris
33 Dan Hegarty
34 Brian McCormack
35 Paul Shoesmith
36 Danny Webb
37 Nuno Caetano
38 George Spence
39 Dave Madsen Mygdal
40 Chris Dixon
41 Dave Hewson
42 Jim Hodson
43 Jonathan Howarth
44 Fabrice Miguet
45 Graham English
46 Vick De Cooremeter
47 AJ Venter
48 Alan Connor
49 Eric Wilson
50 John Ingram
51 Alex Pickett
52 Bill Callister
53 Paul Duckett
54 Michael Russell

Words by Stevie Rial