HUTCHY HAS TO DIG DEEP

Top three sep­a­rated by 10 sec­onds af­ter six-lap bat­tle

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Stephen Dav­i­son MCN ROADS RAC­ING RE­PORTER

Ian Hutchin­son took his 15th TT vic­tory in Sun­day’s Su­per­bike TT race on the Tyco BMW.

With no more than ten sec­onds sep­a­rat­ing the first three rid­ers for al­most the en­tire six laps, Hutchy held off a last lap charge from Peter Hick­man on the Smith’s BMW to take the win in a scin­til­lat­ing race. Dean Har­ri­son, who had been the early pace-set­ter, fin­ished third on the Sil­i­cone En­gi­neer­ing Kawasaki.

“It’s been the strangest race that I have ever been in­volved in,” a slightly dazed sound­ing Hutchy said af­ter the epic en­counter.

“Ev­ery­thing was chang­ing all the time, I just didn’t know what to think. But it’s the TT, it’s six laps, and I just kept dig­ging in.”

The race, which was de­layed by 24 hours af­ter prac­tice week was se­verely dis­rupted by bad weather, had been billed as an­other round of the Hutchin­son ver­sus Michael Dun­lop grudge match that be­gan at last year’s event. Lit­tle heed was paid to that script as Kawasaki duo James Hiller (JG Speed­fit Kawasaki) and Dean Har­ri­son (Sil­i­cone En­gi­neer­ing Kawasaki) led the pack over the open­ing miles un­til Dun­lop man­aged to get the nose of his Ben­nett’s Suzuki in front at the Bun­ga­low.

It was a brief supremacy for the North­ern Ir­ish­man as the GSX-R’S en­gine let go along the Cronk y Voddy straight on lap two and he ground to a halt at Han­d­ley’s. His only con­so­la­tion was set­ting the fastest lap of the race at 131.135mph from a stand­ing start.

In Dun­lop’s ab­sence Har­ri­son and Hil­lier re­sumed the lead and Hutchy dropped from third to fourth on lap two as Hick­man moved ahead of him.

The pit­stops proved cru­cial. His team’s faster turn­around saw Hutchy emerge from Gaso­line Al­ley in sec­ond place on lap three, 4.8 sec­onds be­hind Dean Har­ri­son. By the end of the lap he was in the lead with just 3.5 sec­onds sep­a­rat­ing him from Har­ri­son and Hick­man. On the next cir­cuit Hick­man moved ahead of Har­ri­son as Hil­lier came back into the mix, with a 130mph lap and a faster pit­stop mov­ing him back into sec­ond place on lap five. Hutchy’s sec­ond pit­stop gave him a seem­ingly unas­sail­able 10-sec­ond lead head­ing out on the last two laps but there was an­other twist in this in­trigu­ing TT.

On lap three Davey Lam­bert crashed at Greeba Cas­tle and the Kawasaki rider was treated at the road­side for three laps, forc­ing the field to ride through the cor­ner un­der waved yel­low flags for the sec­ond half of the race.

On the fi­nal cir­cuit Hutchy and Hil­lier en­coun­tered a cau­tious back­marker on the ap­proach to Greeba, al­low­ing Hick­man to slash 5.5 sec­onds off the Bingley man’s lead. By Ram­sey Hutchy’s lead was down to just 1.6 sec­onds but the 37-year-old pulled out al­most four sec­onds over the Moun­tain. Hutchy’s lap times were con­sis­tent and al­though he didn’t break into the 131s, when he needed to push hard on the fi­nal cir­cuit he was able to de­liver the goods.

“The lead was just two sec­onds at Bal­laugh, two at Sulby and two at the Goose­neck,” Hutchy said.

“Hick­man is a class rider. I knew he wasn’t go­ing to back off if he got a sniff of a win. I thought I re­ally need to not make a mis­take, so I sort of went a lit­tle bit slower to go a lit­tle bit faster. Com­ing to the last sec­tor I thought I’m not go­ing to win the race here but I will def­i­nitely lose it if I make a mis­take so that’s prob­a­bly the smoothest I have rid­den the fi­nal sec­tor... ever.”

‘Hick­man is a class rider. I knew he wouldn’t back off if he got a sniff of a win’

IAN HUTCHIN­SON

Hutchy cel­e­brates with his Tyco team

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