Ian Hutchinson took his third successive Superstock victory at the Isle of Man TT races, and fifth in total, when the Tyco BMW rider won Wednesday morning’s RL Superstock race by a commanding 22.4s from Peter Hickman after gambling with a soft compund rear Dunlop. With the fastest lap of the race on lap four, 131.639mph, it was his 16th win in total.
The Bingley Bullet was second through Glen Helen on the opening lap, a second down on early race leader Michael Rutter, but he was ahead by Ballaugh Bridge and never looked back despite a scare at the beginning of the race when the dash failed just before he left the line. A quick re-boot sorted the problem out and although conditions were blustery, he continually extended his lead throughout the race.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever gone into a TT race with only one lap of practice on a bike whilst we also opted for a softer compund rear tyre so it was a bit of an unknown to begin with,” he said in parc ferme.
“I know the bike inside out with riding it in the BSB Superstock Championship but it’s not quite doing what I want it do so I think I need to get last year’s races out of my head. With conditions being like they have been this year, the track’s very green and there’s just not the grip like there was in 2016 so I’m being that extra bit careful in the early stages.”
“I could have done without the dash turning itself off 10 seconds before the start but as soon as I clicked second gear off the line, it sorted itself out and although we were warned of the wind, I’ve known it to be a lot worse. I was petrified approaching the jump at the Wagon and Horse on lap one as I know it can be really bad there but I had no problems and the only real damp patch was at Glen Helen.
“I’ve been struggling a bit on the first nine miles to Glen Helen for some reason and I’ve been getting a bit wound up with the way the bike’s have been behaving at times but, like I say, the grips not there and I need to forget about 2016. With the softer tyre, I was backing it in a bit in places and ran wide at the Creg on lap two so made a change to the suspension at the pits and started to use second gear rather than first and the bike was a lot better for the last two laps.
“My pit board said 12s, 11s and then 10s so knew Peter was charging and that’s why I dug that bit deeper on the last lap. I got a good run through the few backmarkers that I caught to get the win and well done to Peter and Dan too, they rode mega races.”