Conquering the Roads.
The Isle of Man TT is arguably the most renowned road race in the world. Attracting thousands of visitors from all over the world, this small island in the Irish Sea is the place to come to see bikes travelling at speeds approaching 200 mph on closed public roads. This year, after a week of practice sessions, racing got under way on Saturday 4th June with the RST Superbike race.
RST Superbike TT
Michael Dunlop on his way to Superbike victory.
The six lap Superbike race was the feature race on Saturday and with excellent weather conditions it was set to be a scorcher of a race. Michael Dunlop on the Hawk Racing BMW set off at a blistering pace around the mountain course - making TT history after lap one by recording the first ever sub-17 minute lap, which equated to an average speed of 133.369mph! At this stage he held a 3.6 second lead over second placed man Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW, followed by Harrison, Hillier, McGuinness and Rutter.
On lap 2 Dunlop also posted a lap in excess of 133mph before coming into the pits for more fuel and gained another 4 seconds over Hutchinson through the pit stop. On lap 2 Dunlop also posted a lap in excess of 133mph before coming into the pits for more fuel and gained another 4 seconds over Hutchinson through the pit stop. Although Hutchinson also posted a lap time inside the lap record, it was not enough to make up the ground on Dunlop who won the race by 19 seconds. Michael Rutter on the Bathams SMT BMW finished in 6th place with Gary Johnson on the Penz13.com BMW. Lee Johnston riding for the East Coast Racing team rounded out the top 10. A fantastic result to get five BMW's inside the top ten.
RL360 Quantum Superstock TT
The four lap Superstock race took place on Monday. During practice week Hutchinson had already set a lap of over 132mph average speed, impressively close to the fastest of the Superbike times on Saturday.Hutchinson spent the first half of the season contesting the National Superstock 1000 Championship and it seems to have paid off - no one could catch the 'Bingley bullet' aboard his TAS Racing Tyco BMW.
By Glen Helen he already had a two second lead over Michael Dunlop, with the Tyco BMW rider setting an opening lap of 133.098mph to break the lap record for the Superstock class. Unfortunately, Dunlop on the Hawk Racing BMW had to retire at the end of lap one due to a broken brake lever. Hutchinson eventually won by a massive 27 seconds with Dean Harrison second and James Hillier third.
Michael Rutter finished in fourth place and Gary Johnson fifth. Davo Johnson also recorded a top ten finishing position. Sam West competing in just his second TT, took fifteenth place on the Ice Valley Four Anjels Racing BMW.
Superbike vs Superstock
The TT races sees two type of 1000cc motorcycles competing - one is a Superbike which is the most elite motorcycle and the other is the Superstock bike which is similar to a motorcycle you can buy from a showroom. The simple way of telling the difference? Superbikes run black numbers and Superstocks run red numbers!
Engine: specially tuned - £12,000
Electronics: Motec ECU
What can be changed? Swingarm and suspension.
Engine: road going stock engine
Electronics: standard ECU
What can be changed? Exhaust, suspension, levers and footpegs.
In memory of Paul Shoesmith
Paul Shoesmith 'Shoey' sadly lost his life during a practice session after Saturdays Superbike race. He had finished the Superbike race in 29th position.
Shoey was a well liked member of the racing community with a fantastic personality. Many of his friends describe him as a “true gentleman” and an “inspiration”.
Shoesmith leaves behind his partner Janet and four children. He helped many riders find their way in racing whilst competing himself in all the major road racing events. His team 'Ice Valley Four Anjels' are one of the most eye-catching outfits in the paddock and are always a fan favourite.
He had been on the UK Race Support Program running BMW S 1000 RR's in Superbike and Superstock classes on the roads as well as supporting Sam West with a Superstock bike for the National Championship.
Our thoughts are with the relatives, friends and team at this difficult time and we would like to express our most sincere condolences.