Ian Hutchinson took back-to-back victories at the 2015 Isle of Man TT on Tuesday after claiming a dominant victory in the RL 360 Superstock race following his triumph in the Supersport battle on Monday evening.
Hutchinson took the lead shortly after the pit stops at the end of lap two, and rapidly built a near-20 second lap over Northern Ireland’s Michael Dunlop.
For the first half of the race, Guy Martin was in contention for a podium finish as he made third place his own and looked to close the gap on Hutchinson, only for another pit-stop disaster to strike the Tyco BMW rider. Following his early retirement on Sunday and 30-second penalty on Monday, Martin’s BMW refused to fire up after refuelling, and we went on to lose over 35 seconds and plummeted down the order to seventh.
That elevated James Hillier into third, and the Quattro Plant Muc-Off Kawasaki rider was tailing Dunlop around the course having seen the MD Racing BMW flash past him in the process.
However, Hutchinson was putting the hammer down, and by the end of the third lap he had built a lead of nearly ten seconds over Dunlop, who would go on to reveal after the race that a combination of an eye problem and the beating he took in a Sunday’s Superbike race when coming a cropper on the final lap began to affect him severely.
All that Hutchinson had to do was reach the finish line to take his second win of the year and a tenth overall, yet he nearly didn’t make it. Having already run out of fuel on the second lap just as he reached the pits, the Paul Bird Motorsport Kawasaki began to cut out on him, and he utilised the tow created by John McGuinness to save as much fuel as possible.
“I never eased it off, I ran out of petrol on lap two,” revealed 35-year-old Hutchinson after the race. “Guy [Martin] got back past me and I just wanted to get back to the pit stop.”
Hutchinson also admitted that the decision to change his rear tyre at the stop – whereas Dunlop stuck with the same rubber for all four laps – proved crucial in seeing him pull away on the final lap.
“The guys decided this morning that they were going for the wheel change and I was panicking a bit,” he added. “I pushed as hard as I could lap three and got to the Bungalow and was on the back of John [McGuinness] and the bike cut out and I thought it s a long way back from here.
“It's the same tyre we use in the 600 and it had a hard time in the 600 and it gets a lot more here. I put a lot of pressure on myself to win today because yesterday was for Paul Bird too.”
But luckily for the Bingley Bullet, he had enough in the tank to make it to the line 17.139 seconds ahead of Dunlop, and while the victory was not as emotional as Monday’s given the five-year wait and the 30 operations undergone since suffering a nasty accident at Silverstone in 2010, it still meant a lot to him given it came aboard Paul Bird’s bike.
Dunlop came home to clinch second, and admitted afterwards that he will consider pulling out of Thursday’s second Supersport race in order to let his body recover and focus on Friday’s Senior TT.
Hillier looked on course to secure third, but nearly 110 seconds behind him on the road north Irishman Lee Johnston was on the charge having posted his first 130mph lap around the mountain course, and he snatched the final place on the rostrum from Hillier to take his first podium finish at the Isle of Man.
1. Ian Hutchinson
2. Michael Dunlop
3. Lee Johnston
4. James Hillier
5. Peter HickmanReuse content