Ian Hutchinson took his 12th TT win on Monday morning when he dominated the Monster Energy Supersport race from start to finish.
The CAME BPT Yamaha rider defeated Michael Dunlop by 14.3s in a race-record winning time with Silicone Engineering rider Dean Harrison taking third.
Hutchinson signalled his intentions from the off and by Glen Helen on the opening lap, he’d already opened up a three-second lead over Harrison with Dunlop a further tenth back in third as James Hillier, Lee Johnston and John McGuinness completed the top six. Michael Rutter was reported out at Ballacraine though with Peter Hickman stopping at Greeba making adjustments and eventually retiring on the opening lap.
At the head of the field Hutchinson was pressing on, extending his advantage all the time and with a lap of 127.872mph, his lead was now over ten seconds as Dunlop moved up to second with Harrison dropping back to third. Hillier, Johnston and McGuinness maintained their places in the top six.
Dunlop was unable to make any inroads into Hutchinson’s lead, which was seen with the Bingley Bullet’s second lap at 128.72mph, extending his lead to 12.8s with Dunlop enjoying a similar gap to Harrison. Conor Cummins moved into fourth ahead of Hillier and McGuinness while the second lap saw a number of high profile retirements including Bruce Anstey, Ivan Lintin, Martin Jessopp and Dan Cooper.
The leading duo matched each other in the pits and by Ramsey on the third lap Hutchinson lead was over ten seconds and the Yorkshireman was also at the front of the pack on the roads, having overhauled Hillier, McGuinness and Anstey on the first two laps. Harrison was comfortable in third and a lot of attention fell on the battle for fourth with little to choose between Cummins, Hillier and McGuinness.
With conditions on the island again perfect, Hutchinson could ride to his signals in the closing lap and a half and although he encountered traffic on the final lap, he duly came home for his 12th TT win – his seventh in the Supersport class – by over 14 seconds from Dunlop who had a 38.6s gap over Harrison.
The battle for fourth went all the way to the wire before Hillier secured it by the narrow margin of 0.7s from Cummins with McGuinness only a further four seconds back in sixth.
Lee Johnston, William Dunlop, Steve Mercer and Gary Johnson rounded out the top ten with the latter losing valuable time in the pits when his Triumph refused to fire at the end of the second lap.
Dan Hegarty had been running in an excellent tenth and looked like he’d again take the maximum points in the TT Privateer’s Championship but he unluckily retired at Glen Helen on the final lap and that allowed 12th placed James Cowton to take the 25 points followed by Jamie Coward (13th) and Rob Hodson (14th).
Ian Hutchinson in the winners enclosure
DAVE KNEEN/PACEMAKER PRESS, BELFAST