Road Racing News

TT 2018: Relentless Harrison Powers To 2nd TT Glory In Second Monster Energy Supersport Race

Once again we were graced by truly top draw weather for today’s second Monster Energy Supersport encounter, which provided yet more truly captivating, exhilarating, pulsating and record breaking Mountain Course action.

Lap 1:

Carrying on his great early race form from the RST Superbike, opening Supersport and Royal London 360 Quantum Superstock races, it was Silicone Engineering Racing’s Dean Harrison who surged into an early lead at Glen Helen, holding an almost two second lead over class lap record holder Michael Dunlop.

Quattro Plant/JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s James Hillier third on the timing screens, was only 0.457 behind Dunlop, whilst Smiths Racing’s Peter Hickman in fourth place was only a further 1.8 behind Hillier.

At Ramsey Hairpin Harrison increased his race lead to 2.734, which by the Bungalow increased to almost three seconds. On top form aboard his ZX-6R Kawasaki which went through the speed trap at almost 170 mph, the Bradford racer steadily was edging away from 17 times TT winner Dunlop.

Photo by Mark Corlett

An opening lap of 128.188 mph helped him an advantage at the end of lap 1 of 3.6 seconds over Michael Dunlop, who in turn was six seconds of Peter Hickman who just edged in front of 2013 Lightweight TT champion Hillier, by only 0.197 of a second.

Completing the top six were the evenly matched Padgetts Racing duo of RST Superbike runner up Conor Cummins, and six times international road race winner Lee Johnston.

Notable retirements on the opening lap included two of pure road racing’s fastest rising stars, McAdoo Kawasaki’s Adam McLean and Team ILR’S Joe Thompson.

Lap 2:

Lap 2 would see TT, Ulster GP outright lap record holder Harrison take a strong grip on the race, as he showcased yet again why he is now rightly regarded as a definite member of a group of riders, considered as roads aliens.

Losing no time per sector, only increasing by a second here, a second there to nearest pursuer Dunlop, by the Bungalow the lead grew to nigh on the seven second mark.

Photo by Mark Corlett

Come the conclusion of lap 2 Harrison bolstered by a near class lap record of 129.099 mph, held an 8.33 second lead over Dunlop, who in turn was 9.8 clear of Hickman who was only two seconds in front of Hillier in the battle for third.

Behind them Padgetts backed Manxman Cummins was 11 seconds further back, but now plus 20 seconds clear of team mate Johnston.

Drama a plenty unfolded in the pits, as Dunlop as in the previous Supersport race taking on a tyre change, encountered a 30 second speeding related time penalty when leaving the pits.

This left leader Harrison with a now major advantage of closing in on 20 seconds, over TROOPER Triumph mounted Hickman, whilst Hillier and Cummins also moved up the order following Dunlop’s time penalty.

Lap 3:

Onto lap 3 and Harrison’s now nearest pursuer Hickman, like previous nearest challenger Dunlop, was struggling to keep pace with the relentless pace of the reigning Duke Road Race Rankings champion.

Photo by Nick Wheeler

At Glen Helen the race lead stood at 18.393, which by the Bungalow extended to a gap of plus 21 seconds, it seemed reliability pending, this was Harrison’s race to lose.

He held at the end of the third and penultimate lap a lead of 19.5 seconds over Hickman, as Hillier, Cummins, Dunlop back in fifth following his pit lane time penalty, and McAMS Yamaha’s Josh Brookes concluded the top six.

lap 4:

The fourth and final lap saw Silicone Engineering Racing’s Dean Harrison, as he had during the whole of another compelling Supersport TT race, keep up a world class, persistent pace.

19 seconds clear on the run up to Ramsey Hairpin, which was reduced slightly by Superstock TT winner Hickman at the Bungalow to 18.8 seconds, he ultimately crossed the line at end of lap four to win the second Monster Energy Supersport race of TT 2018 by 18.67 seconds.

Now a two time TT winner, Harrison who set a new race record, stated in the ensuing press conference that he pushed as hard he could in the opening laps, plus added about how good the performance of his Metzeler tyres were.

Race runner up Peter Hickman was delighted to wrap up a third rostrum finish of TT 2018, whilst third place finisher James Hillier determined to return to the podium finishers circle today, was extremely happy to be back on the rostrum, as he took his tally of TT podium’s to a now impressive total of 12.

Conor Cummins finished a solid fourth, Michael Dunlop hampered by pit lane dramas finished fifth as McAMS Yamaha’s Josh Brookes banked a second successive top six finish.

Finalising the first ten finishers were Lee Johnston, Gary Johnson, McAdoo Kawasaki’s James Cowton and Dafabet Devitt Racing’s Ivan Lintin.

Others to impress outside the top ten included lead newcomer Davey Todd a very creditable 12th, WH Racing’s Dominic Herbertson 14th, Senior Manx GP champ Michael Evans 17th and Paul Jordan 19th.

Race Results:

1 Dean Harrison
2 Peter Hickman
3 James Hillier
4 Conor Cummins
5 Michael Dunlop
6 Josh Brookes
7 Lee Johnston
8 Gary Johnson
9 James Cowton
10 Ivan Lintin
11 Ian Hutchinson
12 Davey Todd
13 Sam West
14 Dominic Herbertson
15 Dan Cooper
16 Martin Jessopp
17 Michael Evans
18 Michael Sweeney
19 Paul Jordan
20 Andy Dudgeon
21 Phil Crowe
22 Barry Evans
23 Craig Neve
24 Darren Cooper
25 Tom Weeden
26 Michal Dokoupil
27 Mark Parrett
28 Julian Trummer
29 Davy Morgan
30 Adrian Harrison
31 Brian McCormack
32 Jonathan Perry
33 Timothee Monot
34 Jamie Williams
35 Raul Torras Martinez
36 Michael Booth
37 Xavier Denis
38 Richard Charlton
39 Bjorn Gunnarsson
40 Richard Wilson
41 Mike Norbury
42 Ian Pattinson
43 Kamil Holan
44 Dave Hewson
45 Rhys Hardisty
46 Rob Whittall
47 Julien Toniutti
48 Eric Wilson
49 Frank Gallagher
50 Emmett Burke
51 Justin Collins

Words by Stevie Rial

>