The Superstock TT is an interesting part of the Isle of Man TT. As the name implies, it features liter-class machines, but in a near-stock level of trim. That being said, the speeds attained by the Superstock machines touches near to the highly tuned Superbike machines, with 130+ mph laps being a reality.
The Superstock machines only compete once in the TT fortnight though, whereas there are two Supersport races, and the Superbikes basically get two goes of things, with the Superbike and Senior TT having a staggering overlap in machinery.
With all the weather, the sole chance to run the RL360 Superstock TT was pushed to Tuesday, and was the only race to run today. But, it certainly did its part in providing TT fans with some entertainment.
Out of the gate, it looked like Michael Dunlop would take his first win of the 2015 Isle of Man TT — a surprise, considering his strong last-two TT performances. In the early stages of the first lap, Dunlop was followed closely by James Hillier, Ian Hutchinson, Guy Martin, Lee Johnston, and Gary Johnson.
Hutchinson improved on his position by the time the riders had all gone through Ramsey, and by the end of the first lap, it was Dunlop, Hutchinson, and Martin all putting in 130+ mph laps, followed by Hillier, Johnston, and Peter Hickman.
Hutchy would come close to catching Dunlop on the second lap, closing the gap to 0.8 seconds at Ramsey. Dunlop responded however, and brought the gap back to 1.9 seconds by the times the riders crossed the start/finish line and came in for their sole pit stop.
That change in fortune may have had something to do with Hutchinson running out of fuel about a mile from the Grandstand. Thankfully, he was able to coast into the pits and top off the machine before heading out.
That pit stop would prove to be decisive, as Michael Dunlop’s MD Racing BMW S1000RR refused to start after the stop, giving Hutchinson the time advantage leaving the pits. With a fresh tire on Hutchinson’s bike, he had already generated a 2.7 second lead at Glen Helen. The previous day’s TT race winner never looked back.
Hutchinson increased his lead each lap on his PBM Kawasaki ZX-10R, and leaving the rest of the riders to fight over podium spots. For that, there was close competition.
Once relegated to second place, Michael Dunlop held onto his position, finishing roughly 17 seconds behind Hutchinson. For third though, it was Lee Johnston, who pipped James Hillier in the final lap, by just 0.270 seconds. All four riders were under the old race record — truly flying around the mountain course.
Rounding out the order, Hickman finished fifth, Johnson sixth, and Martin seventh. The three Hondas of John McGuinness, Bruce Anstey and Conor Cummins completed the top ten.
Source: IOMTT; Photo: © 2015 Tony Goldsmith / www.tonygoldsmith.net – All Rights Reserved