| The road racing capital of the world at this year’s world-famous TT races held in the Isle of Man saw a practice week disappear with just one of the seven sessions vanishing because of inclement weather conditions. |
The resulting weeks’ racing was thus the subject of further cancellations as the weather pelted down with rain and mist. Finally, the re-organised race schedule came into play with as many as five TT races being held in just one day as the conditions improved.
With all the constant delays big festival days out at Honda’s Peel day and the Drag racing festival at Ramsey was once again put out of business by the ACU. Race team organisers for the limits of around 2 laps on tyre wear and marginal sized petrol race bike tank capacities have changed the TT from its former glory days to a weather watchers wonderland. Not to say that the racing was not once again spectacular, with just seconds deciding the close-run events, that combined to show scintillating race speeds and record-breaking rider winning laps of the 33-mile mountain course.
Peter Hickman was out of the blocks quickly in the RL360 Superstock TT Race. It was shortened to three laps to fit into the packed five-race schedule. Hickman’s fast start saw him at Glen Helen 1.68 seconds faster than second placed Dean Harrison who had an advantage of 1.582 seconds.
Hickman consolidated his position on the run out to Ramsey once more showing his total mastery of the Mountain section of the Course with a 9.026 second lead over Dean Harrison as they entered the pits.Peter Hickman took a comfortable win with a cushion of 26.045 seconds over Harrison.
Side Car Race
There was drama even before the Sidecar TT Race 2 got underway on Thursday’s packed schedule as newcomer sensations Ryan and Callum Crowe were forced to withdraw due to a fire on their machine minutes before the start.
The Birchell brothers, Ben (driver) and Tom, got the tap on the shoulder at 14:00 to take the plunge down Bray Hill for the first time in the shortened two lap race.
The win puts the Birchalls level on sidecar wins with Rob Fisher, with only David Molyneux having more sidecar wins to his name.
With Derek McGee out of contention following a spill at Greeba in qualifying, there was no number one on the startline for the postponed Bennetts Lightweight TT Race. Lap record holder Michael Dunlop on a second Paton started in his customary #6 position.
As the clock ticked over and eyes were turned up Glencrutchery Road to see whether Coward could overhaul the 18-time TT winner. In the end it wasn’t to be.
Michael Dunlop took the chequered flag as the first bike on the road and then commenced a tense wait for Coward to cross the line. At Cronk-ny-Mona the gap was only 0.767 seconds.
Out to Glen Helen on lap one of the two lap race (shortened due to the postponements and delays of multiple races earlier in the week) the leader was Michael Dunlop, looking to repeat his 2018 race victory.
Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) claimed his first victory at the Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy, when he took a sensational RL360 Superstock race by 4.4s from Michael Dunlop (MD Racing BMW) with Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) in third.
Senior TT Race
Double Duke Road Race Rankings Champion, Dean Harrison secured the most coveted accolade in road racing by winning the blue-riband race of the 2019 Isle of Man TT Races, the Senior TT on the Silicone Engineering Racing Kawasaki
The popular Bradford rider also took three second places an fourth during a very trying TT period.
Highest mover, Peter Hickman who amassed three victories, the Superbike, Supersport 2 and Superstock TT’s, plus a second in the Senior, third in Supersport 1 and eighth in the Lightweight, 2013 Duke Champion, Michael Dunlop took the Lightweight TT honours on the Paton.
Words & Pics: Courtesy of Ian Groat