RR » 11 June 2010
Ian Hutchinson bids for fifth TT win in a week
All eyes are on Yorkshire's Ian Hutchinson as he bids to re-write the history books and win five Isle of Man TT races in a week.
History could be made during the final day of racing as Ian Hutchinson bids to win the Senior TT and claim a record-breaking fifth Isle of Man TT win in a week.
The Padgetts Honda rider has won all four solo races held so far, equalling the record of the great Phillip McCallen and heads into the final race around the Mountain course as favourite.
However, he will need to see off HM Plant Honda's 15-times TT winner John McGuinness and Manxman Conor Cummins, who had a massive lead in Saturday's Superbike TT before breaking down.
Hutchinson secured his fourth TT this week, and seventh of his career, on Thursday in the dramatic second Supersport race.
The Padgetts Honda rider went toe to toe with Michael Dunlop throughout the four laps and, having lost the lead for the first time at Ballaugh on the final lap, charged over the Mountain to keep the young Northern Ireland rider at bay. Dunlop had the consolation of claiming a new lap record at a stunning 127.836mph with Keith Amor claiming another third place.
Hutchinson showed his intent from the off and led through Glen Helen although, as expected, it was again close, his advantage over Guy Martin just 0.4s. Dunlop was only a further 0.75s back with John McGuinness in fifth and Ryan Farquhar in sixth. Once more, only 4.5s separated the top ten at the first timing point.
By Ramsey Hairpin, Hutchinson's lead was just 0.52s, but Dunlop had pushed Martin back to third with Bruce Anstey now up to fourth showing good form on the Relentless by TAS Suzuki. At the end of the lap, Hutchinson's lead was up to 5.4s as he lapped at 126.652mph. Dunlop was over five seconds clear of Martin with Keith Amor, Anstey and John McGuinness rounding out the top six.
It was nip and tuck on the second lap and whilst Dunlop could significantly eat into Hutchinson's lead all the way to Ramsey, bringing the gap down to 1.4s at the Hairpin, the man of the week could pull away over the Mountain, his short circuit prowess coming into play. Indeed, at the end of the second lap, his lead had increased slightly to 5.77s, Martin still in third and falling back from Dunlop but still pulling away from Amor. Local hero Conor Cummins had fought his way up to fifth with Anstey now in sixth but it was still close with only six seconds splitting Cummins in fifth and McGuinness in eighth.
A quicker pit stop by Dunlop saw him take time out of Hutchinson but by Glen Helen he found himself further adrift to the tune of 6.4 seconds. However, he again proved the stronger on the twists and turns to Ramsey and the lead was only 1.81s as they rounded the Hairpin for the penultimate time. Hutchinson edged away up and down the Mountain but as the riders went on to their final lap, the gap was only 3.19s and we were set for another thrilling finale. Martin was also under extreme pressure from Amor, only one second now splitting the duo, with Cummins still in fifth but McGuinness now back up to sixth.
At Glen Helen, Hutchinson still led but it was down to 1.9s and at Ballaugh, Dunlop led for the first time. He'd built on that on the run to Ramsey Hairpin and held a 1.82s lead as they headed up the Mountain but Hutchinson was back in front at the Bungalow by 0.49s! As everyone's become accustomed to this week, it was going to be another nail biting finish and as Hutchinson flashed across the line, he had an agonising wait for Dunlop, who'd started 50 seconds behind. Hutchinson broke Amor's three day-old lap record at 127.611mph but Dunlop went even quicker at 127.836mph. However, it wasn't enough and he had to settle for second by 1.45s.
Amor put in another 126mph+ lap to overhaul Martin and claim his fourth TT podium whilst McGuinness edged out Cummins for fifth by the minuscule margin of 0.23s. William Dunlop had another strong ride into seventh with Anstey, Ryan Farquhar and Dan Kneen rounding out the top ten.
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