It’s been seven perfect days of weather at the Isle of Man TT, which is a rarity for the island nation, which sits in the turbulent Irish Sea. That has boded well for Saturday’s opening race, the RST Superbike TT, as riders have been putting in scorching laps so far this practice week.
All expectations were for a record lap to be set, especially after Ian Hutchinson set an “unofficial” outright lap record the day before during practice, but the question was from whom would the record be broken by officially, as a number of riders were showing good race pace.
As it turns out, we wouldn’t have long into the six-lap race to see a record drop, and it would two riders doing the honors. From a standing start, Ian Hutchinson broke the outright lap record with a 132.892 mph lap, but that victory would be short-lived, as Michael Dunlop was right behind him, and on the pace as well.
Setting the first sub-17-minute lap ever, and the first lap over a 133 mph average, Michael Dunlop controlled the Superbike TT from the very first timing station, and set a record-breaking 133.369 mph lap in the process.
Dunlop would better that time on Lap 2, extending his record to 133.393 mph – the new high-water mark.
Slowly edging his gap over Ian Hutchinson, Michael Dunlop rode a smart race, and eventually caught his rival on the course. The day’s result is Michael Dunlop’s 12th Isle of Man TT race win, and likely not his last for the fortnight.
John McGuinness found some speed too in the second lap, passing Dean Harrison on the timesheet. Following Ian Hutchinson on the course from the start of Lap 3 and onward, McGuinness was able to get some extra speed from following Hutchy, and eventually the duo were joined on the track by Dunlop.
That would be the order to the finish line, followed by Peter Hickman who rode a fantastic race on his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R for fourth place – setting his fastest lap around the Mountain Course, ever.
Fifth would be Dean Harrison, also on the Kawasaki. The remaining Top 10 were Michael Rutter, David Johnson (a strong showing for the Norton project), Bruce Anstey, Gary Johnson, and Lee Johnston.
Source: IOMTT; Photo: © 2016 Tony Goldsmith / www.tonygoldsmith.net – All Rights Reserved