For once at TT 2023, the weather pre racing was not illuminated all-round by blue skies. Low cloud, bouts of moisture on track meant a three-hour delay to the Royal London 360 Superstock opener, with racing starting at 2:45 PM. As across all solo races, excluding Super Twins, Classic TT winner David Johnson was the first to get the tap on the shoulder to circulate around the other-worldly Mountain Course. Lap 1: Acquiring the best start to Glen Helen was man of the moment Michael Dunlop. Dunlop astride his own squads MD Racing Honda, headed class lap record holder Peter Hickman by only 0.650 of a second. DAO Racing’s Dean Harrison held third, 1.385 to the good over Davey Todd. Seven plate holder Josh Brookes was the first retirement, stopping at St Ninians. At Ballaugh Bridge, Hickman took P1 ownership, moving 2.257 in front of Dunlop. Monster Energy by FHO Racing’s Hickman, extended the race-lead to plus three seconds at Ramsey Hairpin. The end of lap one saw Hickman, who lost time trying to overtake Milenco by Padgetts Todd, 2.7 seconds ahead of Ballymoney’s Dunlop. Top Kawasaki pilot Harrison was 11.186 down on Dunlop with Todd, Conor Cummins making a welcome return to action, Jamie Coward wrapping up the top six. Lap 2: Post all important sole pit stops, outright lap record holder Hickman led Dunlop by 5.318 seconds at Glen Helen. Across Ballaugh Bridge, Ramsey Hairpin timing points, Hickman upped his grip on race proceedings, vaulting to a nigh on 9.2 second lead. As lap two ended, Hickman on course for a fourth successive Superstock TT triumph, was 15.702 clear of Dunlop. Harrison third, was a shade over ten seconds down on 23 times TT winner Dunlop. King of The Roads Champion Todd kept fourth as Coward, speediest Yamaha TT exponent in history James Hillier held fifth, sixth respectively. Lap 3: On outright lap record pace to Glen Helen, Hickman’s relentless charge towards victory grew, grew and grew throughout the third and final lap. With blue skies emerging around the Grandstand, Parc Ferme, Hickman wheeling past the chequered flag, chalked up in style TT victory number ten, equalling Giacomo Agostini, Rob Fisher, Stanley Woods TT wins tally. Hickman’s last lap of 134.331 mph (16:51.147 seconds), was just outside his own existing Superstock lap record. Second place finisher Dunlop, finished 23.171 down on Hickman. A delighted Harrison took third whilst John McGuinness MBE was a late retirement over the Mountain. Outside the top three, reigning National Superstock 1000 Champion Todd placed P4, Hillier took fifth with KTS Racing Powered by Steadplan’s Coward sixth. Cummins, Johnson, Michael Browne, Team Classic Suzuki’s Shaun Anderson concluded the first ten finishers. Positions 11th-15th went to Brian McCormack, Craig Neve, Bathams Racing team-team Michael Rutter who equalled his dad Tony Rutter’s amount of TT starts (83), Jim Hind and Street Diner Racing’s Sam West. TT 2023 – Royal London 360 Superstock Race 1 Result: 1st – Peter Hickman 2nd – Michael Dunlop 3rd – Dean Harrison 4th – Davey Todd 5th – James Hillier 6th – Jamie Coward 7th – Conor Cummins 8th – David Johnson 9th – Michael Browne 10th – Shaun Anderson 11th – Brian McCormack 12th – Craig Neve 13th – Michael Rutter 14th – Jim Hind 15th – Sam West 16th – Paul Jordan 17th – Julian Trummer 18th – Stephen Smith 19th – Rob Hodson 20th – Raul Torras Martinez 21st – Dominic Herbertson 22nd – Richard Wilson 23rd – Mark Goodings 24th – Mark Parrett 25th – Stefano Bonetti 26th – David Datzer 27th – Ryan Cringle 28th – Michael Russell 29th – Forest Dunn 30th – Michael Evans 31st – James Chawke 32nd – AJ Venter 33rd – Rhys Hardisty 34th – Rennie Scaysbrook 35th – Dave Hewson 36th – Amalric Blanc 37th – Anthony Redmond 38th – Xavier Denis Photo credit: Mark Corlett Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou
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