Ian Hutchinson made it two wins from two races, adding today’s opening Supersport TT race to the Superbike TT he won on Saturday.
But there was no let-up in this four-lap thriller with Guy Martin on the Wilson Craig Honda just 3.03s behind the Padgetts Honda at the finish, the pair of them having traded the lead several times in the early stages of the race.
Martin was 1.72s up on Hutchinson into the first timing point at Glen Helen but the big shock was Manxman Dan Kneen, riding a Manx Gas/Marks Bloom Yamaha, running in third, 1.6s adrift of Hutchinson. John McGuinness was fourth on the second Padgetts Honda then came Ryan Faquhar (MSS Kawasaki), Conor Cummins with the McAdoo Kawasaki, Relentless Suzuki’s Bruce Anstey, Keith Amor (Kojak Honda), Michael Dunlop with the Street Sweep Yamaha and Cameron Donald on the second Relentless GSX-R600.
Martin’s lead dwindled to 0.6 at the Bungalow and by the Grandstand at the end of the first lap, Hutchinson, with a 125.536mph opening lap, led by 0.8s, with Knee still third 6.1 further back. Dunlop was into his stride, up to fourth but 10s down on the leader.
Martin was up at Glen Helen but only by 0.35s and Hutchinson was back in the lead at Ballaugh by 1.2s. By the time they had gone through, Anstey was already was already a retirement at the famous jump. With a 126.207mph lap, Hutchinson held a 3.38s lead but Dunlop was faster and had moved up to third with a 126.232mph. After the round of pit stops, Hutchinson led by 4s from Martin. Dunlop was a further 6s back but Kneen was only 1s adrift in fourth.
Martin was still charging though along the bottom section of the course and had peg the lead back to 0.28s at Glen Helen and it was still only 0.82 at Ballaugh but on the bumpy run to Ramsey, Hutchinson had taken control and opened a 3.24s lead. Incredibly, both Hondas had run through the Sulby speed trap at identical 171.2mph.
By the end of the lap it looked like Hutchinson had things under control and was 4.67s ahead.. Dunlop was third but 16.41s behind the leader and Kneen was still holding an impressive fourth.
But Martin clawed back again – he only ate 0.5s into the lead on the run to Glen Helen but by Ballaugh he was only 2.04s shy of Hutchinson and Dunlop, also charging, was now only 10.7s off the lead. Both leading Hondas again topped the speed trap figures with identical 170.8s. But Hutchinson’s last lap of 126.362, just a couple of tenths shy of the lap record was enough to secure him the race win by 3.03s from Martin. Dunlopp took third but Amor’s late charge which also saw him set a new lap record of 126.909mph, saw him take fourth from Kneen. William Dunlop was sixth, ahead of McGuinness, Cummins, Farquhar and Donald.