Hutchy too hot to handle in Superstock TT
Ian Hutchinson made it two wins in a day when he smashed the lap and race records in Monday afternoon’s RL360 Quantum Superstock TT race, the Tyco BMW rider leading from start to finish to take victory by 27 seconds.
With an opening lap of 133.098mph, it was the Bingley rider’s 13th TT race win as Dean Harrison and James Hillier battled all the way for the runner up position, Harrison clinching it by just one second.
As he had done earlier in the morning, Hutchinson blazed a trail from the off and he was again leading at Glen Helen on the opening lap, his advantage over Michael Dunlop two seconds with Gary Johnson a similar distance behind in third. It was close behind the leading trio with Michael Rutter, Peter Hickman and Hillier separated by just three-quarters of a second.
It was clear Hutchinson was putting in a remarkable lap and so it proved as he flashed across the line at a speed of 133.098mph, faster than he’d done in Saturday’s RST Superbike race. The gap to Dunlop had grown to 15.9s but the Ulsterman was in trouble, pulling into the pits with a broken gear lever. Hillier had moved up to third with Harrison, Johnson and Lee Johnston now the top six.
Hutchinson was by now leading on the road and with Dunlop out, retiring in the pits, his advantage over Hillier shot up to 24s at Glen Helen and he continued to increase his lead throughout the lap. Indeed, with a second lap of 132.93mph, the gap to Hillier had grown to 32.7s with the Kawasaki rider enjoying a six second lead over Harrison.
Johnston was now fourth ahead of Rutter and Gary Johnson as Bruce Anstey and Peter Hickman also retired. Meanwhile, 12th placed Ivan Lintin picked up a pit-lane speeding penalty dropping him down the order.
With a commanding lead, Hutchinson could control the race from the front and that’s exactly what he did over the next two laps with his final lap being over 129mph.
However, the battle for second and third was raging between Hillier and Harrison with just over a second dividing them on the third lap while there was also a four-way battle going on for fourth between John McGuinness – who again gained time at the pit stop - Johnston, Johnson and Rutter.
Harrison had now overtaken Rutter on the road and the pair of them both lapped at over 131mph on their final laps which enabled Dean to take second and Rutter fourth, Hillier just missing out on second by 1.9s. Rutter got the better of Johnson for fourth by 3.2s and with Johnston retiring at Sulby Crossroads, McGuinness took sixth.
Conor Cummins, William Dunlop, Steve Mercer and David Johnson rounded out the top ten, having missed out in the morning’s race.
Hutchinson has now moved to the top of the race for the Joey Dunlop Championship with 70 points and with Dunlop retiring, Harrison movea up to second on 47 points with Dunlop remaining on 45 in third.
Meanwhile, Dan Hegarty was again the top privateer in an excellent 11th place. Horst Saiger was the second privateer home in 13th overall with Jamie Coward third and 14th overall.
Hegarty leads the overall privateers table on 50pts followed by Coward on 47 and Saiger 46.
Photo credit - Tim Keeton / Impact Images Photography