Glorious bright sunny weather, greeted the 75 starters for the opening Monster Energy Supersport race, at TT 2016.
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.
Photo by Louis Porter
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, Ian 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 fifth as Lee Johnston concluded the top six.
Jamie Coward, RJP Racing ZX6R Kawasaki, was impressing 11th, as was Dan Hegarty in 12th place.
Notable retirements on the opening lap included Michael Rutter, Bathams SMT Racing ZX6R Kawasaki, Peter Hickman Trooper 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 of 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 James Hillier fourth, was just about holding off the attentions of Conor Cummins, who was 2.3 seconds behind the 2013 lightweight TT winner.
Photo by Mark Corlett
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 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.
James Hillier held off Conor Cummins for fourth place, John McGuinness finished sixth as Lee Johnston, William Dunlop, Steve Mercer and Gary Johnson, 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, all enjoyed excellent races.
Ian Hutchinson reminded everyone today, why he is regarded by many as the world’s leading pure road racer.
His 12th TT victory, marks another momentous chapter in his already stellar TT Races career.
The scene is set for another duel between Hutchy and Michael Dunlop, in the upcoming Royal London 360 Quantum Superstock race.
Who will emerge victorious this time between the riders who now both have 12 TT wins, or will another of the 69 starters surprise everyone, by beating the two dominant riders to date of TT 2016.
TT 2016 – Monster Energy Supersport Race Results:
1 Ian Hutchinson
2 Dean Harrison
3 James Hillier
4 Conor Cummins
5 John McGuinness
6 Lee Johnston
7 William Dunlop
8 Steve Mercer
9 Gary Johnson
10 Cameron Donald
11 James Cowton
12 Jamie Coward
13 Ben Wylie
14 Michal Dokoupil
15 Robert Wilson
16 Colin Stephenson
17 Derek McGee
18 Dominic Herbertson
19 Derek Sheils
20 Horst Saiger
21 Daley Mathison
22 Ian Pattinson
23 Brian McCormack
24 John Ingram
25 Craig Neve
26 Bjorn Gunnarsson
27 David Sellers
28 Jim Hodson
29 AJ Venter
30 Barry Furber
31 Alex Pickett
32 Paul Smyth
33 Adrian Harrison
34 Julien Toniutti
35 Matthew Rees
36 Xavier Denis
37 Andrew Soar
38 Gavin Lupton
39 George Spence
40 Karl Foster
41 Eric Wilson
42 Morgan Govignon
43 Rob Barber
44 Mike Booth
45 Ben Rea
46 Josh Daley
47 Olaf Romijn
48 Chris Petty
49 Mark Goodings
Words by Stevie Rial