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, where 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 Louis Porter
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.
Photo by Mark Corlett
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, Ian 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, Ian 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 in a race which saw Ian Hutchinson, move joint fourth overall in the all time winners list at the world’s greatest road race.
What’s next for the now 14 times TT winner, senior TT victory for the second time? Quite possibly but everyone will be up for the blue riband race, in particular Michael Dunlop.
The Mountain Course is set for another classic duel, between two riders, who I think it’s fair to say are complete road racers.
They have the ability, pace, determination, ambition, drive, will to win and the self belief, fingers crossed the weather doesn’t spoil an eagerly anticipated duel between two of pure road racing’s all time greats.
TT 2016 – Monster Energy Supersport Race 2 Results
1 Ian Hutchinson
2 Michael Dunlop
3 Dean Harrison
4 James Hillier
5 Bruce Anstey
6 Lee Johnston
7 Conor Cummins
8 Peter Hickman
9 Gary Johnson
10 Michael Rutter
11 Steve Mercer
12 Jamie Coward
13 Ivan Lintin
14 Martin Jessopp
15 Michal Dokoupil
16 Ben Wylie
17 Dan Hegarty
18 Robert Wilson
19 Sam West
20 Bjorn Gunnarsson
21 Derek Sheils
22 Daley Mathison
23 Kamil Holan
24 Craig Neve
25 David Sellers
26 Michael Sweeney
27 Dominic Herbertson
28 Mark Parrett
29 Mark Miller
30 Jim Hodson
31 Ian Pattinson
32 Andrew Soar
33 John Ingram
34 Rob Barber
35 Matthew Rees
36 Brian McCormack
37 Adrian Harrison
38 Barry Furber
39 Julien Toniutti
40 AJ Venter
41 Xavier Denis
42 Gavin Lupton
43 Mike Booth
44 Simon Fulton
45 Paul Smyth
46 George Spence
47 Eric Wilson
48 Morgan Govignon
49 Mark Goodings
50 Ben Rea
51 Karl Foster
52 Josh Daley
53 Chris Petty
54 Olaf Romijn
55 Phil Crowe
Words by Stevie Rial