The Senior TT is the blue ribbon event at the Isle of Man TT – it’s the race that every rider wants to win. Don’t let the name fool you, the Senior TT isn’t for riders that are over the hill; in fact, it is the most hard-fought class at the Isle of Man.
Most of the machines on the Senior TT grid are the same as those found in the Superbike TT, but in years passed we have seen specialty bikes built just for the class’s looser set of rules. The last race of the Isle of Man TT fortnight, the Senior TT ends things with a supreme spectacle.
For 2016 though, riders and fans would have to wait a considerable amount of time before the Senior TT would kick off, with the the fog and mist delaying the day’s start considerably. Thankfully the weather gods eventually gave way, and racing commenced. And it was good.
All eyes were on Michael Dunlop as he left the Grandstand for the start of the 2016 PokerStars Senior TT, and the Superbike TT winner was the early leader at Glen Helen, leading Ian Hutchinson.
By the end of the first lap, Dunlop made that lead an honest 2.8 seconds – setting a Senior TT lap record in the process – though Hutchinson still lead on the track.
That lead grew to 9.2 seconds by the end of the second lap, with Dunlop setting another sub-17 second lap, for a new Senior TT lap record, new race record, new outright lap record of 133.962 mph.
The Senior TT wasn’t a complete blowout, as Hutchinson would find some time on Lap 4, slightly faster on the course than Michael Dunlop. But, the damage was already done.
With a comfortable gap to Hutchinson, Dunlop rode a solid race to the finish line, taking his second TT win for the fortnight. Hutchinson would have to settle for second place, still having a great showing at this year’s Isle of Man TT, with five podiums (two 2nds, and three 1sts).
Some of that result may be do to the fact that Ian Hutchinson was running his Superstock engine in his Superbike race bike, having found issues with his factory-prepped BMW S1000RR engine package.
Finishing in a lonely third place was John McGuinness, while still a cut above the rest, McGuinness’ Honda didn’t have the pace to match the more powerful BMW S1000RR superbikes that Dunlop and Hutchinson are using.
John McGuinness would have to really work for that result though, as it took McPint a while to wake up on the course. Finishing the first lap in 9th place, he would close that gap to 4th by the end of Lap 2, and with a fast pit stop, was in 3rd by the end of Lap 3.
It was bad news for Peter Hickman, who retired at Brandywell on Lap 3, giving he position to John McGuinness in the process. Dean Harrison would finish the race in 4th, with Bruce Anstey on the Honda RC213V-S finishing 5th.
Tragically, we do have to report that Andrew Soar lost his life in an incident at Keppel Gate, while competing in this year’s Senior TT race.
Source: IOMTT; Photo: © 2016 Tony Goldsmith / www.tonygoldsmith.net – All Rights Reserved