Fastest Mann yet
DAVE FALL selects the best races from the world’s mecca for motorcyclists
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.
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.
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.
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.
John McGuinness won the 2015 Isle of Man TT at an average speed of 213 km/h.