Senior Race Day

Yesterday's historic 5 races in a day programme was partly due to the information received from the met office regarding the impending arrival of Storm Miguel.
Miguel has caused havoc through Spain and France and was making its way north. It was predicted to hit the Isle of Man around lunch time today (Friday). In light of this information the second Locate IM Sidecar race was moved forward to Thursday and the Dunlop Senior TT brought forward to a 10 o'clock start on Friday morning.

The positivity and acceptance of adversity of TT fans is something you cannot help but admire. Yet again, the crowds flooded to the track, swelled by the Manx locals who were having their traditional Senior Race day public holiday. I haven't witnessed any conversations of dissent against what the organisers have tried to do to fulfill the race programme. Everyone I have spoken to will be coming back next year. Most believe we spoilt rotten last year and this year is the price we have had to pay!!

There was a fifteen minute delay to the start of the Dunlop Senior TT which I believe was due to a road sweeper cleaning debris off the track. The wind had dropped and there was a high cloud covering as the race got under way, the biggest concern was whether Miguel would arrive early and that the race would be cut short. To date only two races have gone their full distance, the first Locate IM Sidecar Race over 3 laps and the one lap SES TT Zero Race, not that it was feasible to cut the latter short.

Conor Cummins lead the field away, Lee Johnston being a notable non starter due to machine problems. Michael Dunlop went wide at Quarterbridge and James Hillier over shot at Ballacraine. Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison battled for the lead with the Smiths Triumph gradually pulling away. John McGuinness retired his Norton at the Bungalow first time round, to end for him, quite a miserable TT. His only podium coming from his second spot in the SES Zero race. Hopefully he will be back for the Classic TT and repeat last year's success.

It was not a good day for Honda, Ian Hutchinson retired in the pits at the end of the second lap and almost immediately news came in that David Johnson had retired at Bedstead Corne. Hickman pressed on, increasing his lead over Harrison who responded and reduced the deficit. At the start of the fifth lap Hickman lead Harrison by nearly 19 seconds with Cummins third and Michael Dunlop fourth. Hickman's bike was starting to overheat and by Glen Helen there was a big chunk taken out of his lead. At Ramsey his chance of winning had gone as Harrison was now leading, there was speculation that he would pit at the end of the lap. To the surprise of radio commentator Tim Glover he sailed straight through to start his last lap. Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Racing Kawasaki) went on to a well deserved victory by win 43 seconds. The real question was whether Connor Cummins could catch the ailing Hickman and unfortunately for the Manxman re ran out of road and missed out on the runners up spot by 5.8 seconds. Hickman still had the satisfaction of posting the fastest lap of the race. In persevering to finish second enabled him to win the Joey Dunlop Championship, which he last won in 2017.

Dean Harrison, Dean celebrating his Dunlop sponsored Senior TT victory.

Michael Dunlop's TYCO BMW complete with the traditional Senior TT yellow plate

The winning machine......Aah that's where the missing time board went!!

The Senior TT scoreboard, note that the final time board is missing (Bottom left)

A really exciting race, over the full distance with no hint of rain. A great race to conclude a quite frustrating TT and Miguel had kept his distance.

The very impressive Jaime Coward, not only at the TT but also at the Pre TT Classic, won the TT Privateer's Championship. Kawasaki won the Manufacturers Award and Smiths Racing took the Team Prize for the third year running. The Sidecars were not to be outdone with the Birchalls winning the overall SIdecar Trophy and also the Motul Team Award for Technical Excellence. Ryan and Callum Crowe, who were denied a start in the second sidecar race due to an electrical fault, deservedly won the RST Stars of Tomorrow Award. Peter Hickman won the TT Supporters Club Trophy for being the overall winner of the Monster Energy Supersport Race.

The presentation of the Susan Jenness Trophy to Julie Canipa will be covered in a separate blog.

Photographs by Mike Hammonds

Mike Hammonds