BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Isle of Man, 08/06/2016, BMW Road Race Challenge
They went into this year’s Isle of Man Tourist Trophy as the hot favourites – and more than lived up to their billing on the opening days of the TT: BMW riders Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop. Two races have been run in the 1000cc category, with victory and a lap record going to the BMW S 1000 RR on both occasions. Dunlop (Hawk Racing) won the Superbike race on Saturday ahead of Hutchinson (Tyco BMW), while Hutchinson then won Monday’s Superstock race.
As early as the practice and qualifying sessions, it was clear that Dunlop and Hutchinson would be the men to beat. The pair set one lap record after another on their Superbike and Superstock bikes. Dunlop first set an average speed of 132.36 mph (approx. 212 km/h), before Hutchinson raised the bar to 132.803 (approx. 212.5 km/h) – his time on the Superstock bike (!) was the fastest lap ever ridden on the TT course at that point. However, that was just the start of things to come, as more record-breaking laps followed in the races themselves.
The Superbike TT was the first race for the 1000cc bikes on Saturday. Dunlop caused quite a stir on the opening lap on his Hawk Racing BMW S 1000 RR, when he set a new record average speed of 133.369 mph (approx. 213.3 km/h), despite a standing start. This made him the first rider to complete a lap in under the magic 17-minute mark.
Dunlop then went even faster on the next lap of the 60-kilometre TT circuit: this time, the average speed was measured at 133.393 mph (213.4 km/h). At that speed, he raced clear of the rest of the field.
After six laps of racing, Dunlop crossed the finish line with a lead of 19 seconds to claim the 12th TT win of his career. Hutchinson also went faster than in practice and qualifying, but could not get anywhere near Dunlop this time. The Tyco BMW rider came home second to complete a one-two for the BMW S 1000 RR.
“The bike never missed a beat and it's great to be a winner again,” said Dunlop. “After two laps, I just got into a groove and kept it steady. It was all about bringing the bike home. This wasn't a big factory set-up with a big budget, it was a bike built in a small workshop, but the guys did a brilliant job.”
Hutchinson: “This is my first competitive race on the Tyco BMW here at the TT and I knew it was going to be a tough one to beat Michael. I’m obviously pleased with the three 132mph laps but there are a couple of things we need to improve on for Friday’s Senior TT, where I will be giving it my all for the win.”
First of all, however, the focus was on Monday’s Superstock TT. It was to be a procession for Ian Hutchinson. He set a new Superstock lap record of 133.098 mph (approx. 213 km/h) on his RR. At the end of the four-lap race, he came home 27 seconds clear of the rest of the field. This was “Hutchy’s” 13th TT victory.
“I just love this bike and it’s great to get the team back where they belong on the top step of a TT podium,” said a delighted Hutchinson. “I was a bit wide in a few places early in the opening lap, as I was still in Supersport mode. It took me to Glen Helen on that opening lap before I was fully dialed back into riding the stocker, but the BMW S 1000 RR is an unbelievable machine to race around here. I’m now looking forward to Friday’s Senior TT where I’ll be doing my utmost to win the blue riband event on the Tyco BMW.”
Team manager Philip Neill added: “That was a massive effort by Hutchy, which is testament to the work we have all put in pre-season, but a huge thank you must also go to BMW Motorrad Motorsport and its engine technicians from Berlin. They have produced a perfect example of German engineering. It’s fair to say we’ve had a bit of a wait for this one but to see Ian win on the BMW S 1000 RR in record fashion today was worth the wait. Our TT victory number 16 is for every member of our team and all their hard work. Thanks also to Kurt Böck from the HP Race Support for the technical assistance and to the guys in Berlin for the Bavarian Power!”
Dunlop’s Superstock TT race was over at the end of the first lap: he returned to the pit lane with a gear lever problem. Dunlop will also be back in action in the Senior TT on Friday.
The Penz13.com BMW Motorrad Motorsport team also had cause for celebration. Rico Penzkofer’s team enjoyed its best result at the Isle of Man TT in the Superstock race. Gary Johnson finished fifth on his BMW S 1000 RR.