The early morning warm sunshine gave way to cold cloud cover for Monday’s second race, the Royal London 360 Superstock race. Four laps of grand TT racing, the Superstock class is essentially street legal bikes with bolt-on pieces (along with race trim obviously), and thus a fairly analogous representation of what one could do around the Mountain Course…provided of course you have the mettle of a true TT racer. With a number of riders showing promise for the race win, all eyes were on the clock as the green flag dropped.
Leading through the first lap was Guy Martin, who has been hunting the 2011 Isle of Man TT for his first ever IOMTT race win. With an average lap speed of 127. 953, the Lincolnshire rider had a two second lead over Michael Dunlop, and three and a half seconds over John McGuinness. Also in the hunt during the first lap were Gary Johnson and William Dunlop.
Martin’s lead would disappear in the second lap though, as Dunlop set a blistering 17’27.17 lap time (129.709 ave. mph), and busted out a 13 second lead over Guy Martin and a 15 second lead over John McGuinness. With Gary Johnson retiring, Keith Amor moved up to fourth place, while William Dunlop retained his fifth position. With the whole Top 5 coming in for their pit stops before their third lap, pit crew made a definitive difference in the race’s outcome.
Going through the grandstand start/finish line, it was still Michael Dunlop leading the Superstock race, but instead of having Guy Martin in hot pursuit, John McGuinness was now 18 seconds behind the nephew of Joey Dunlop. Martin crossed the line in third, 21 seconds behind Dunlop. Meanwhile in fourth and fifth remained Keith Amor and William Dunlop. Fighting for their last of four laps, Dunlop seemed destined to take his second race win ever at the Isle of Man TT.
Dunlop would prove to be the people’s victor, as he claimed his top podium step with a commanding 19 second lead at the Royal London 360 Superstock race’s conclusion. John McGuinness held onto his second place position, as did Guy Martin, Keith Amor, and William Dunlop. Martin would finish 23 seconds back, while Amor would see 31 ticks go by on the clock before he crossed the finish line at the Douglas Granstand. Meanwhile, the other Dunlop known as William would finish a minute and three seconds behind his younger brother Michael. There should be a good ribbing about that at the Dunlop family dinner table next week we imagine.