Michael Dunlop has taken his second victory at this year’s Isle of Man TT, beating Dean Harrison and Bruce Anstey to win the first Superstock race. Having been delayed from yesterday, the race was pushed back further following an RTC, but it eventually got going at 1.45pm.
It was another dominating display from the Ballymoney man, who gave BMW their second win following their 75 year wait for Saturday’s Superbike victory. He built up a lead of over 20 seconds of Harrison – giving RC Express Racing by MSS Performance their first podium – and the man who broke the lap record on Saturday, Anstey. Yesterday’s Supersport winner Gary Johnson had looked to be an early threat but an accident put an end to his race on the first lap. He was airlifted to hospital and it was later reported that he has suffered a broken collarbone and cracked vertebrae in his neck. The Smiths Triumph team tweeted that, despite his injuries, he was in ‘good spirits’.
In the top ten, there was a close battle for the positions after the podium, with David Johnson, Conor Cummins, Michael Rutter and Lee Johnston battling it out for fourth down to seventh. In the end it was Johnson who claimed the honour of fourth, recording his best TT finish since his debut in 2010. He was just 0.8s ahead of local man Cummins. Sixth and seventh was also a tight result as Johnston, who came to the TT off the back of a strong North West 200, finished just 0.2 seconds clear of highly experienced rider Rutter. In eighth was Dan Kneen ahead of impressive newcomer Peter Hickman. Hickman overhauled a gap to John McGuinness on the last lap to finish in ninth place – the first newcomer and privateer home – ahead of McGuinness. Cummins was given a two minute penalty after the race due to an ineligible suspension component, dropping him to 18th. This means that James Hillier was promoted to tenth place.
It was a disappointing race for the Tyco Suzuki duo of Guy Martin and William Dunlop, who both retired from the race – Dunlop in the pitlane, and Martin at Parliament Square. Wilson Craig Racing’s Jamie Hamilton ran out of fuel, while Brandon Cretu and Jim Hodson both also retired. Steve Mercer was given a 30s penalty for speeding it the pit-lane. Joe Faragher was another rider to be airlifted to hospital with suspected fractures.
Following the race, it was announced that the rest of the day’s programmes had been cancelled due to an incident. It was later sadly confirmed that Karl Harris had died following an accident in the Superstock race. Harris made his Isle of Man TT debut in 2012. He was a triple British Supersport champion. I would like to extend my condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.