The blue ribbon event of the Isle of Man TT, the Senior TT is typically the most-welcomed race at the end of the TT fortnight, but after seeing the 2012 race cancelled (for the first time ever outside of World War I & II), on the account of rain, the 2013 PokerStars Senior TT has an amazing amount of build-up.
As if the running of the fastest machines on the Mountain Course wasn’t enough, there was the prospect that Michael Dunlop could sweep the five main solo-classes, a feat only ever done once before, by Ian Hutchinson.
As the flag dropped, and we held our breaths to see if John McGuinness would get his first race win this TT fortnight, if Micky D could make the clean sweep, or if another competitor would rise to the challenge (Guy Martin, anyone?), tragedy struck: a red flag on the first lap.
Jonathan Howarth went off at Bray Hill, and though he was hurt, but ok, the accident injured 10 spectators, one critically. Having already waited two years to see the return of the Senior TT, fans at the Isle of Man would have to wait a little longer it would seem.
In a statement by the ACU that was published right after the incident, “ten spectators and the rider were taken to hospital with injuries ranging from slight to serious but not life threatening. Four of the spectators have been discharged, five of the injured have been kept in hospital and one remains under observation in the emergency department.”
A racing event fraught with tragedy and real-world danger, we all breathed a sigh of relief a dodging another tragic outcome at this year’s TT. Moving onward thanfully, the 2013 Senior TT resumed three hours later, click past the jump for its race results.
Taking his 20th all-time TT race victory, John McGuinness finally broke his bad luck streak at the 2013 Isle of Man TT. The podium finished marked his 41st, a new record for TT competitors, and it brings McPint closer to Joey Dunlop’s record for the most outright TT race wins: 26.
“It feels absolutely fantastic to win today and if there’s one race to win, it’s the Senior,” said an elated McGuinness. “I’ve had a good week but a win’s escaped me so do it today with the sun shining and thousands of fans waving me all the way is brilliant. The conditions were incredible, the bike was fantastic and with two superb pit stops we got the job done. I still feel really sharp and I hit all my apexes on the final lap so with a Honda 1-2-3, the job’s a dream!”
The win wouldn’t be an easy one though, as McGuinness had to battle his way from fifth on the first lap at Glen Helen, as Gary Johnson lead William Dunlop, Michael Dunlop, and Michael Rutter. By the end of the first lap though, McGuinness was third, and making his move to the front.
Taking over at Ballaugh on the second lap, McGuinness was able to put some time on his teammate Michael Dunlop, as the pair of them battled throughout the race for the #1 position.
Finishing the third lap only 2.4 seconds up on Dunlop, McGuinness finally broke past the pace of the Irishman, and began putting distance between himself and Michael.
With James Hillier in his wake, McGuinness rode a comfortable race to the finish line, 10 seconds ahead of Dunlop. Denied his quintuple, Michael still showed an excellent performance on the Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR, and will be a force to reckon with next year.
“It was a good, enjoyable race and John rode lovely so fair play to him,” said Dunlop. “I had him in sight early on and there wasn’t much between us but I got held up a bit by backmarkers, catching them at the wrong times, and I lost a bit of time there and at the pit stops. No excuses though, the bike was mint and I’m going home with four wins and a second place so I can’t complain with how my week’s gone.”
With the battle for the front decided early on in the race, the battle for the final podium position raged on over the entire six laps of the Senior TT. Getting a tow, and learning from the King of the Mountain, Hillier found himself closing in on Bruce Anstey’s time and pace with each passing lap.
Taking the third spot headed into the final lap, Hillier wouldn’t be able to hold off Anstey for long though, as the Kiwi mounted an attack on his Honda, and ultimately finished one second ahead of the Kawasaki rider, posting a huge 131.531 mph sixth lap.
Guy Martin would have to settle for fifth in the Senior, 36 seconds back from Hillier, and 21 seconds ahead of Michael Rutter.
Source: IOMTT; Photo: © 2013 Richard Mushet / Mushet Photo – All Rights Reserved