Ian Hutchinson wins opening Superbike TT race

Ian Hutchinson has taken the first win of the week, beating Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison.

The weather has wrecked havoc with the weeks’ practice sessions but ideal conditions greeted riders for the first race of 10 this week. David Johnson led them away at 2pm for the opening Superbike race.

James Hillier took the early lead at Glen Helen, leading Harrison by just eight tenths of a second with Hutchinson third. Michael Dunlop soon got himself into contention by Ballaugh, moving into third place. He was leading the race by the Bungalow and was leading when he retired on lap two. Harrison became the new leader with Hillier second and Hutchinson third.

The first lot of pit stops took place at the end of lap two and it was the Padgetts Racing crew who completed the fastest stop – 52 seconds for Bruce Anstey. Hutchinson’s Tyco BMW crew completed their stop in 55 seconds – five seconds quicker than Harrison and Hickman who was third at the end of the second lap. The battle for the win continued between Harrison and Hutchinson before the latter took control at the Bungalow on lap four. With just seven tenths of a second his advantage over Harrison he pulled the pin and upped it to nearly ten seconds by the start of the fifth lap.

By lap five Harrison had dropped down to fourth and Hutchinson was leading Hillier and Hickman. It became a two horse race on the sixth and final lap when Hickman slashed the gap to just 2.5 seconds. The gap came down to 1.6 seconds by Ramsey but it increased from there and Hutchinson had a five second advantage by the end of the race. Hickman finished in second with Harrison returning to third place. Hillier was fourth ahead of Dan Kneen, Michael Rutter, and David Johnson. Josh Brookes, William Dunlop, and Martin Jessopp completed the top ten.

Horst Saiger came home to finish 11th ahead of Sam West, Anstey, Philip Crowe, Jamie Coward and Dan Stewart. Brian McCormack got a time penalty for exceeding pit lane speeds and finished 17th. Stefano Bonetti, Mark Parrett, and Michael Sweeney completed the top 20.

There were a number of retirements from the race including a very early one for Guy Martin who came off uninjured at Dorans on lap one. Michael Dunlop retired from the race lead on lap two while Derek Sheils, Dan Cooper and Ivan Lintin were retirements in the pits. Gary Johnson, Fabrice Miguet, and local favourite Conor Cummins also retired. Davey Lambert was involved in an incident and is in a critical condition in hospital.

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