MIKE HAMMONDS TT BLOG PAGES
Saturday 2nd June 2018
Superbike and Sidecar Race Day
The road closed at 11:00 am as planned, only for the mist to roll in and an immediate half hour delay was announced. This turned out to be a two hour delay and the Superbike Race eventually got under way 14:00 hours.
Dean Harrison broke the course outright record from a standing start setting a new time of 16 minutes 50.384 seconds, an average speed of 134.432mph; breaking the 134mph barrier for the first time. He achieved this again on his second lap before retiring at Sulby Crossroads on the third. Michael Dunlop inherited the lead and slowly eked his way into a commanding position from Connor Cummins. Connor lost 6 seconds to Michael at the first pit stop and 12 seconds at the second pit stop. Michael eventually winning by a margin of 51 seconds. James Hillier brought his Quatro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki home in third.
The sidecar race started at 3pm as planned on the revised schedule, John Holden and Lee Cain setting the early pace. The race was red flagged on the first lap due to an incident at Sky Hill involving Tony Baker and his daughter Fiona Baker-Holden. Fortunately neither has suffered serious injuries with Tony fracturing a leg and Fiona suffering soft tissue damage. An inevitable delay followed this incident.
Tony Baker Fiona Baker-Holden
Manx Radio interrupted the hourly news to give an update, only to say that another update would be given in 15 minutes!! This amused the cosmopolitan crowd at Quarterbridge, consisting of Americans, Australians, French, Germans, Italians, Irish, British and of course Manx. The TT is truly an international event.
It was decided to run the solo and electric practice before the re-run of the Sidecar Race at 19:00 hours. John McGuinness did a demonstration lap on the Norton, the first time he had put a set of leathers on since his NW200 crash in 2017.
Twenty eight of the original 34 starters lined up on the Glencrutchery Road, the most notable absentees were the luckless Tony and Fiona, Lewis Blackstock and Patrick Rosney who developed a mechanical issue and Estelle Leblond with Melanie Farnier in the chair who had retired at Union Mills in the first race.
This time no one could live with the Birchalls, they bettered the old lap record on each of the three laps, with a best lap of 19 minutes 4.353seconds, a average speed of 118.694mph. John Holden and Lee Cain did their fastest ever lap in topping 117mph in finishing second with Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes completing the rostrum positions. As soon as the press conference was over, John dashed off to Nobles Hospital to see how wife Fiona was recovering.
Ben and Tom Birchall
A truly remarkable record breaking days racing.