Fastest Mann yet

DAVE FALL se­lects the best races from the world’s mecca for mo­tor­cy­clists

The Witness - Wheels - - BIKING -

DOU­GLAS (Isle of Mann) — The 2015 Isle of Man Mo­tor­cy­cle TT races from May 30 to June 12 were as mem­o­rable as any down the years and the fastest yet — though some races were short­ened and even post­poned for hours on end due to bad weather.

This year, the races saw one rider suf­fer a fa­tal crash dur­ing prac­tice. French rider Franck Pet­ri­cola’s fa­tal fall takes the to­tal fa­tal­i­ties in the Manns races to 141 since 1907, mak­ing the isle a darn sight safer than the N1 on a daily ba­sis.

Dur­ing the races, James Hamil­ton crashed and was rushed to hos­pi­tal. His con­di­tion was de­scribed as se­ri­ous but not con­sid­ered life threat­en­ing.

BMW also con­firmed that rider Wil­liam Dun­lop was ruled out of the rest of 2015’s Isle of Man TT races fol­low­ing a crash at Lau­rel Bank dur­ing the Su­per­stock qual­i­fy­ing ses­sion.

Su­per­bike Race

Be­tween the side­car and vet­eran races, the one dice ev­ery­one comes to watch is the su­per­bike boys. Bruce Anstey got the 2015 Isle of Man TT Races up and run­ning in su­perb style when he swept to a hugely pop­u­lar vic­tory in the RST Su­per­bike race (210,87 km/h).

The Kiwi over­hauled early race leader Ian Hutchin­son at the be­gin­ning of the fifth lap and took his 10th TT win — and first in the Su­per­bike class — by 10,9 sec­onds with James Hil­lier tak­ing third af­ter Michael Dun­lop crashed out on the fi­nal lap.

Af­ter a three-minute de­lay, the race got un­der­way and Hutchin­son, who led at Glen He­len by just 0,2 s from Anstey with Hil­lier in third just half a sec­ond fur­ther back. How­ever, one of the pre­race favourites Guy Martin was al­ready out hav­ing stopped at Bal­la­garey.

Mean­while, Dun­lop’s fi­nal lap charge ended at the Nook when he crashed out af­ter tan­gling with a slower rider and so Hil­lier took third, his first ever Su­per­bike TT podium. John McGuin­ness, Wil­liam Dun­lop and Michael Rut­ter com­pleted the top six, but the in­ci­dent at the Nook brought the red flag out and no other riders com­pleted the full race dis­tance.

Su­pers­port Race

Ian Hutchin­son took a fairy­tale vic­tory in the open­ing Mon­ster Energy Su­pers­port race when he came home 7,7s clear of New Zealand’s Anstey, re­vers­ing the re­sult of Sun­day’s RST Su­per­bike race, with Gary John­son in third.

It was Hutchin­son’s ninth TT win and com­pleted his come­back from the ca­reer threat­en­ing leg in­juries he suf­fered at the end of 2010, the year he won all five solo races.

The riders en­joyed per­fect con­di­tions for the 6.30 pm start and it was John­son who led at Glen He­len on the open­ing lap by just over two sec­onds from team-mate Dean Har­ri­son. He in turn was only half a sec­ond ahead of Hutchin­son, who was al­most dead level with James Hil­lier. Anstey and Lee John­ston filled out the re­main­ing top six places. • South African rider Hud­son Ken­naugh was placed 34th in this race, rid­ing a Tri­umph, man­aged a time of 1:18:16,302. His av­er­age speed was 185,10 km/h, achiev­ing a bronze medal for his trou­bles.

Su­per­stock Race

Hutchin­son won his sec­ond race of the week at the 2015 Isle of Man TT races when he took the RL360 Su­per­stock race, oblit­er­at­ing Dun­lop’s race record by 32 sec­onds.

In a stun­ning race the top four — Hutchin­son, Dun­lop, John­ston and Hil­lier were all in­side the old mark.

Hutchin­son’s Kawasaki rider took con­trol at the half race dis­tance point and the “Bin­g­ley Bullet” even­tu­ally ran home vic­tor by just un­der 20 sec­onds from early leader Dun­lop.

John­ston nipped in for the fi­nal podium place, his first TT podium fin­ish, af­ter get­ting the bet­ter of Hil­lier in a thrilling fi­nal lap.

Hutchin­son wasn’t to be de­nied his sec­ond win of the week and he in­creased his lead all the way round the 61 km cir­cuit to even­tu­ally cross the line 17,2 s clear for his tenth TT vic­tory.

Dun­lop had to set­tle for sec­ond, but the bat­tle for third went all the way to the che­quered flag and it was John­ston who grabbed it from Hil­lier by just 0,270 s af­ter a stun­ning fi­nal lap of 209,36 km/h.

Zero Elec­tric Bike Race

The elec­tric bikes are get­ting faster ev­ery year, with McGuin­ness brak­ing his own SES TT Zero record the elec­tric bike race. His team-mate Bruce Anstey again fol­low­ing him home, as he did last year. Anstey was also in­side McGuin­ness’s old lap record for the elec­tric bike class.

At the front of the field McGuin­ness was be­ing made to work for the race win by Anstey with the gap clos­ing to less than three sec­onds, but the More­cambe Mis­sile (he’s from the main­land port town of More­cambe pretty much due east of the is­land) held on to win with a new lap record of 190,84 km/h (18:58,743). Anstey fol­lowed a split sec­ond later, (19:02.785) with John­ston tak­ing third for Vic­tory/Parker Rac­ing with 20:16,881.

Guy Martin (20:37,987), Robert Wil­son (21:15,256) com­pleted the top five, with Michael Sweeney (30:56,695) tak­ing the univer­sity hon­ours for Not­ting­ham. • Should you fancy tak­ing a trip over the Is­land, be sure to diarise the dates from May 28 to June 10 2016 for next year’s IOM TT. The only way to get there is by ferry — you can fly, but it’s nowhere near as much fun.

PHOTO: SOULSTEER.COM

John McGuin­ness won the 2015 Isle of Man TT at an av­er­age speed of 213 km/h.

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