If there is one event everyone gets excited about at the Isle of Man TT, it’s the Senior TT. Often called “the blue-ribbon event” at the Isle of Man, the Senior TT is not a race for the elderly, like the name suggests, but instead it features the biggest, meanest, machines on the road course.
Most of the PokerStars Senior TT grid is filled with bikes from the Superbike TT, as the classes have a great deal of overlap, but the Senior TT usually has one or two special machines, who fall outside of the Superbike rules — the Norton SG4 is one of those machines.
All the TT riders want to win the Senior TT, and it fittingly is the final race of the Isle of Man TT, which only adds to excitement.
With Friday being drama-filled at the Isle of Man TT, the Senior TT was no different.
It took two tries to get the Senior TT completed, as the first starting of the race saw a red flag come out at the 11th Milestone, after Jamie Hamilton had an off, and needed to be airlifted to Nobles Hospital for medical attention.
His status has been listed as serious, but not life-threatening, which surely is a relief to his family and friends, as well as all TT fans.
Restarting the Senior TT after was Hamilton was safely moved off the course, the 2015 PokerStars Senior TT was shortened to just a four-lap race, instead of six — a dynamic shift to a race that usually requires two pit stops to finish.
Like in the Lightweight TT, James Hillier was the fastest man to Glen Helen on Lap 1, but John McGuinness was right behind him, only 0.8 seconds adrift. Ian Hutchinson trailed McGuinness by only and added tenth of a second, making the Top 3 riders very close on the stopwatch.
McGuinness was back to his classic form today though, and by the end of Lap 1, he was in first place, and responsible for a commanding 131.850 mph lap – the fastest lap ever from a standing start.
This put McPint ahead of Ian Hutchinson by 1.2 seconds, with Hillier now back in third, 1.8 seconds behind the Supersport and Superstock winner. They were followed by Bruce Anstey, Michael Dunlop, and Peter Hickman.
Within that first lap, Guy Martin moved from 13th to 7th, making up the progress lost on his poor start. Martin would find himself in sixth by Glen Helen on Lap 2, as he worked his way slowly through the field, before settling behind Ian Hutchinson on the course. By Ramsey, he was in fourth place, where he would ultimately finish in the standings.
By the end of Lap 2, it was again John McGuinness making waves though, as he set a new outright lap record of 132.701 mph. Guy Martin would join the 132 mph club as well, putting pressure on James Hillier who had been pushed back to third place by Ian Hutchinson.
With McGuinness firmly in control of the first-place position, the focus turned to the riders jockeying behind him.
Going into the fourth lap, it seemed like Hutchinson would defeat James Hillier in-hand. But, Hillier was under pressure from Martin, and pushed his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R hard on the course.
Finally ahead of Hutchinson on the clock at Ballaugh, and up four seconds at Ramsey, Hillier’s pace through the Mountain section allowed him to finish in second place, putting in a 132.414 mph lap in the process. Of note, McGuinness, Martin, and Hillier are the only riders ever to break through the 132 mph barrier.
Hutchinson would fend off Guy Martin, and round-out the podium for the Senior TT. Michael Dunlop would finish fifth, with Conor Cummins in sixth. Bruce Anstey faded in the final lap, leaving seventh place for Peter Hickman.
Today’s Senior TT win for John McGuinness brings his total of TT race wins to 23, a figure that is ever-more closing in on Joey Dunlop’s 26 TT wins.
Source: IOMTT; Photo: © 2015 Tony Goldsmith / www.tonygoldsmith.net – All Rights Reserved