Ian Hutchinson was the winner of the postponed Superstock race, his first win for the Tyco BMW team.
The race was put second on Saturday’s schedule having been called off on Thursday evening. It was initially delayed because of a security alert at Ballysally Roundabout and then red flagged on the second lap. The red flag was because James Hillier had come off his bike at University Corner. He was checked over by medical staff and was ruled out of the remainder of the day’s running due to taking a bang to the head.
After a brief delay the grid was reset and the race was run over five laps instead of the planned six. It was a close fought affair with any one of seven riders having the possibility of taking the win. Alistair Seeley was just one of a number of leaders with others including Michael Rutter, Michael Dunlop and eventual winner Hutchinson.
The long run to University from Station Corner lends itself to a lot of slip-streaming, and no rider was able to make a break. At one stage Dunlop lifted his hand to wave at Rutter as he passed him, while the pair sat at 200mph enjoying their close battle.
Eventually Hutchinson crossed the line to win the race breaking the lap record on the way. He capitalised when Seeley ran wide into Metropole. The top six were separated by just over three seconds with the seventh rider in the mix – Gary Johnson – dropping off. After a third place in the second Supersport race, Hickman took another podium – this time finishing second. Seeley rounded out the podium finishers in third with Rutter fourth and Dunlop fifth. Lee Johnston finished in sixth place ahead of Johnson, Jeremy McWilliams, Horst Saiger and David Johnson.
There were a number of non finishers in the race including Paul Gartland who came off at University. While he initially returned to the paddock he has since been admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where he is said to be in a stable condition.