With the sun shining at the Isle of Man TT, the Superstock TT go underway with the fire-breathing superbikes that feature treaded tires and near-showroom specs. That’s right, it’s the RL360 Superstock TT race.
The Superstock TT has been treading on Superbike TT territory for several seasons now, with not very much separating the two bike categories on the course. Chalk this up to the level that production superbikes have achieved, especially with electronics, and the diminish returns that come with horsepower.
With a Saturday’s Superbike TT race showing three big names – Dean Harrison, Peter Hickman, and Michael Dunlop – Monday’s Superstock TT race promised to be a good scrap. As it turned out, TT fans were not disappointed.
Having claimed his 16th Isle of Man TT victory on Saturday, Michael Dunlop will start as the firm favorite when the second day of solo racing begins on Monday.
The Northern Irishman led the way in Supersport and Superstock practice during practice week, and his confidence will be high when he takes to the start line on Glencrutchery Road for the Supersport race.
Riding a self prepared Honda CBR600RR, he comfortably led the way in practice with a 127mph-lap, but he’ll know that winning on Monday will be a much tougher task than his Superbike victory proved to be.
It had been talked about all through the Isle of Man TT practice week. Would we see a 134 mph lap during this TT fortnight?
It didn’t take long to get the answer, with Dean Harrison breaking the 134 mph barrier with his opening lap of the Superbike TT race…from a standing start.
With Michael Dunlop and Peter Hickman in tow, it seemed that the podium positions were a lock from the early sector times, but the six laps of the Superbike TT race proved to be a trial of miles for these road-racing gladiators.
There is no greater challenge in motorcycling racing than a superbike race at the Isle of Man TT. Wrestling over 165kg of hulking, brooding machinery around this legendary circuit is a challenge unlike any other.
For today’s RST Superbike race has the potential to be a six lap classic. With stunning weather throughout the week, there’s been plenty of time to get bikes setup, and complete lots of laps on the course, so plenty of riders have already set their fastest ever laps during practice week.
As a result, a group of riders are primed to bring the challenge to Michael Dunlop. The Northern Irishman may be the prohibitive favorite with the bookmakers, but he’s had a difficult practice week.
There is no greater challenge than mastering the Mountain Course at the Isle of Man TT. It is 37 miles of mental gymnastics where any hesitation or uncertainty is punished.
Riders spend years learning their trade, and the biggest challenge is not to rush it. If it takes you two, three, or five years to learn the course and feel comfortable pushing to your limit, that’s the time it takes.
Michael Dunlop’s outright lap record of 133.962 mph leaves the 134 mph barrier firmly in sight for the top riders, and don’t be surprised to see that shattered this year.
The top riders all have a photographic memories when it comes to the course and can recall the tiniest of details that go into making a perfect lap.
It is with a heavy heart that we report the passing of Dan Kneen, who died from the injuries he sustained during Wednesday’s Superbike qualifying session for the Isle of Man TT.
The 30-year-old Isle of Man native crashed his Tyco BMW S1000RR at Churchtown, during the first lap of the qualifying session, which was subsequently red-flagged and stopped.
According to a statement by the ACU, which sanctions the TT races, Kneen died at the scene of the incident.
The 2018 Isle of Man TT is underway and Asphalt & Rubber has you covered to get up to date with some of the biggest names at the Isle of Man TT.
The road racing capital of the world is rarely called a paradise, but it is hard to look past that word when the sun shines on this 200 square miles of rock in the Irish Sea.
This week the sun is certainly shining, and practice week has already been one to remember. Lap records look set to be shattered as this past winter is banished from memory by the burning sun.
Take a good long look at it, because here is the electric motorcycle that is going to win this year’s TT Zero race at the Isle of Man TT.
That might seem like a presumptuous thing to say, but with Mugen fielding a three-rider lineup, and no real competition coming out of the woodwork, it would be hard to imagine a different result.
The question of course is which riders will be onboard the Mugen Shinden Nana when it takes the #1 position? John McGuinness? Bruce Anstey? Or, Lee Johnston?
Your guess is as good as ours, as all three road-racers are more than capable of putting down a race-winning lap on the Mugen.