Ian Hutchinson overcame bike setup problems to take his 16th career Isle of Man TT win with victory in today’s four-lap Superstock TT race.
With bad weather playing havoc with the practice schedule Hutchinson, along with his rivals, went into the event without having sufficient time to fully dial in his Tyco BMW S1000RR but despite making suspension changes to his bike during his pit stop, the Yorkshireman led every lap, coming home over 22 seconds ahead of Kawasaki rider Peter Hickman, with local Manx star Dan Kneen taking his first ever podium finish in third.
Hutchy, winner of Sunday’s Superbike TT, had completed only one lap of testing on the superstock class bike prior to the race and overcame a scare on the startline when an electronic glitch caused his bike to display an error message. Despite the problems, the 37-year-old took the lead over from early pacesetter Michael Rutter midway through the first lap. He has now won the superstock event for the past three seasons and, with five class victories in total, he is the most successful superstock racer in the history of the TT.
“I don’t think that I have ever gone into a race with one lap practice before,” Hutchinson said after the race. “It’s the bike that I ride in the British championship, except with different tyres, and although we had a problem with the bike on the line it all cleared up as soon as I shifted into second gear.
“I went with the wrong rear tyre at the start of the race and I made a change to the front suspension during the pitstop, which definitely improved the bike. No one has done much practice on the superstock bikes this year and no one would have had a perfect setting, but I was finding it hard to concentrate as I couldn’t quite get the bike to do what I wanted it to do.
“I still feel like I am pinching wins this year. Conditions were so good last year and all week I’d thought that it was the tyre change (from Metzeler to Dunlop for 2017) that’s meaning that I can’t get the same feeling from the bike but the track is green as it is raining so much overnight. I’m getting wound up as I can’t do what I did last year, but no one can and the lap times are not as fast this year.”
With three podiums in three races, Hickman has had a real breakthrough at TT2017. The British superbike racer was happy with this Superstock outing, particularly the opening lap – which has been his weakness in previous races.
He said: “I am mega happy. I was a lot faster on the first lap today and was in third. That made the race much easier as I was in touch from the beginning, whereas I have been down in about seventh in the first two races. Ian’s always strong on superstock bike so to be up there is really satisfying. We also had a few electronics problems in the opening laps, like the bike was running out of fuel, but it seemed to fix itself and didn’t give me any problems after the second lap.”