An irate Ian Hutchinson has suggested he will have a rethink over his future at the Isle of Man TT after the Tyco BMW rider criticised Senior race winner Michael Dunlop in an awkward press conference.
The Yorkshire rider, who was soundly beaten by his BMW rival in the blue riband race on Friday by more than half-a-minute, accused Dunlop of submitting a protest over the piston used in his Team Traction Control Yamaha after he completed a Supersport double with victory in Wednesday's race.
Ulsterman Dunlop had been excluded from the results of the first Supersport race on Monday due to a technical infringement, with Northern Ireland team Mar-Train Racing later issuing a statement claiming responsibility for an unintentional oversight after supplying the 27-year-old with a motor for the TT.
Hutchinson, who repeated his 2015 Supersport and Superstock treble this week to draw level with Mike Hailwood on 14 victories, said: “I've done my best to congratulate Michael all week and he's done well but on Wednesday I was pretty disgusted by his behaviour to be honest.
“The scruntineers were suspect about something but there was nothing wrong, but then Michael protested and tried to spread a rumour that we had oversized pistons, so I need to have a pretty big think about coming back to the TT to be honest.
“I think the organisers need to explain what was going on there.”
Hutchinson also revealed that he used his Superstock engine for the Senior race and suggested Dunlop had benefitted from a superior factory engine for his Hawk Racing Superbike supplied by BMW Motorrad in Munich.
“We just struggled with the engine that we had last week and the power was a little bit different to the engine that Michael got and we didn't have that engine here, so I opted to run the Superstock engine in my Superbike,” he said.
“The bike was great and it's been faultless, but obviously it wasn't the right thing to do to win the race, but we tried our best.
“The engine last week had no bottom end [power] and all top end, so it was quite difficult to ride and the latest spec engine that Michael's team have has bottom end and top end,” added Hutchinson.
“The Superstock bike has the bottom end and no top end – a mixture of everything – so I knew I'd be down a little bit on speed but I could ride the bike hard and I've done six laps the best I could do today and that's it, we've been beaten.”
Asked for his response during a tense post-race press conference, Dunlop said his BMW engine was no different from anything the Tyco BMW team had received.
“I don't need to [respond]. It was a scrutineer pointed at it, not me, and that's just the way it goes. If he wants to have a go at me, I've no problem – I'm a big enough man to take it on the chin and it makes no difference to me,” Dunlop said.
“My engines are no different to anybody else's – we got factory engines and I would like to say thank you to the boys in Munich and even though BMW got rid of me, I've still got good friends in there.
"They put me a good engine together but it's no different to what anyone else got – anyone else can buy them and they're the exact same,” he added.
“Maybe it's because we're not a factory team this time and we were able to buy what we wanted and we made a good job of it. I just put my head down – simple.”