After a multitude of delays and interruptions by the weather, Sunday finally played host to the first race day of the Isle of Man TT.
As is the custom, the RST Superbike TT, or Junior TT as some call it, started things off — who doesn’t like seeing the fastest bikes on the Mountain Course right at the start of things, right?
Ahead of any TT, there is a ton of speculation. John McGuinness said the lack of practice played to his advantage, with the Honda CBR1000RR being a proven package here at the Isle of Man. Bruce Anstey was the first rider to do a 130 mph lap in practice, thus being the quickest to pace.
Michael Dunlop made a surprise switch from his Milwaukee Yamaha YZF-R1, back to the BMW S1000RR he rode to great success last year — will that move prove to be prudent? And then of course, there’s Guy Martin, who has said before the fortnight that this is his last TT ever.
After a three-minute delay on the starting grid, the riders were finally off for the first race of the 2015 Isle of Man TT. Continue reading for a full race report.
Ian Hutchinson controlled the bulk of the Superbike TT, taking the number-one spot at Glen Helen, ahead of Bruce Anstey and James Hillier. Unfortunately for Guy Martin, the day ended for him after just a few miles, his BMW stopping at Ballagarey.
With some fruther jostling on the first lap, Hutchinson ultimately retained control of the race, with a 130.959 mph lap. He was followed by Anstey, Hillier, Michael Dunlop, and John McGuinness across the start/finish line.
Only Michael Dunlop would improve on his position by Lap 3, moving into third place, ahead of James Hillier. Anstey began his move on Hutchinson on Lap 4, putting in a 131.333 mph lap on the course, and making almost a three-second gain in the pits.
Because of the excellent work of his pit crew, Anstey took the lead from Hutchinson at the start of the fifth lap, by 2.5 seconds. With Anstey in the groove, only Michael Dunlop seemed capable of putting in a response to the 45-year-old’s charge.
That charge would prove for naught though, as Dunlop crashed at the Nook, coming into contact with Scott Wilson, who broke his clavicle in the crash. The incident caused the race to be red flagged, with seventh place onwards being decided by the fifth lap positions.
That wasn’t in time to save Gary Johnson though, who crashed on lap six at Gutheries, but was reported to be OK. He will be fit to race in the rest of the 2015 Isle of Man TT.
All of this meant that Bruce Anstey won the RST Superbike TT by just under 11 seconds, ahead of Ian Hutchinson, and also ahead of James Hillier who slotted into the podium after Dunlop’s crash.
John McGuinness, William Dunlop, Michael Rutter, Dan Kneen, Peter Hickman, Lee Johnston, and David Johnson comprised the Top 10.
Source: IOMTT; Photo: © 2015 Tony Goldsmith / www.tonygoldsmith.net – All Rights Reserved