Friday’s Senior TT; the blue riband event in road racing was held in the best conditions of the fortnight. It was warm; with virtually no breeze, thin high cloud meant that there were no harsh shadows to contend with in the tree lined sections. The roads were perfectly dry and had some rubber down following yesterday’s frenetic day of action. The race started unusually early to avoid the monsoon rain forecast to hit the island.

The Smith’s team and Peter Hickman were unhappy that Peter had been forced into using the Superbike; rather that the hybrid that he used to win the Superbike Race. This was because the Superstock had been taken apart by the scrutineers after yesterday’s race. Normally this would not be a problem; but because there was no rest day; the bike could not be rebuilt in time for the Senior Race. It is normal for the winner’s bike to be stripped down to ensure that all is correct. We have seen race winners lose victory for having the wrong component(s) fitted; even if it gave no advantage and we have seen an oversized engine identified. Rules are rules and must be seen to be applied without fear or favour. Lee Johnston was a notable non-starter.

Conor Cummins was first to set off towards the frightening descent of Bray Hill on his Fireblade; with Dean Harrison in hot pursuit 10s later. Peter Hickman used to drop time on the first run to Glen Helen; but no more; he led as the bikes powered off up Creg Willey’s Hill. Harrison was 0.3s down; he in turn led Cummins by 5.6s. Michael Dunlop, Michael Rutter and Davo Johnson completed the first leader board. James Hillier was well down and assumed to have overshot somewhere; he would have to battle back from a lowly 19th place. At Ballaugh, Harrison had cut 9s out of the starting interval on Cummins and was soon to pass the hare that he had been chasing. On the clock Harrison had the lead by 0.2s from Hickman; with Cummins 8.8s further back.

Peter Hickman.

As the riders swept past the large crowd gathered in Ramsey; Harrison led Cummins on the road by about 100m. On corrected time the pendulum had swung back and it was Hickman who led by 0.118s as he set about climbing the mountain, where he has taken chunks of time out of everyone for the last two years. Cummins was 11.5s down on Harrison and just 0.2s ahead of Dunlop on our timing. Hickman was the fastest up the mountain and led by 1s at the Bungalow. It was at this point that John McGuinness parked the Norton that has been bedevilled by electrical problems.

Biker T-Shirts UK
Conor Cummins in his home town.

Hickman was fastest down the mountain and led by 2.209s as he flashed over the line to start lap 2. His lap of 134.284mph was to prove the best of the race. Harrison lapped at 133.995; Cummins at 132.130mph; Dunlop 132.024mph, Davo Johnson 130.983mph and Davy Todd recorded his first 130+ lap with 130.229mph; superb for rider who made his debut just last year. Hillier was recovering from his error and ended the lap in 11th place.

At Glen Helen on lap 2 Harrison had nibbled 0.4s out of the lead and was in turn 16s clear of Cummins; who was 3s ahead of Dunlop. At the famous bridge the lead for Hickman was 1.9s; with Cummins now 18s behind Harrison; but edging away from Dunlop. As they swept through Ramsey for the second time the lead was 3.5s; with Hickman’s strongest section ahead. Cummins was 19.8s down on Harrison but had pulled another 0.9s out of Dunlop. Hickman stormed up the mountain and led by 6.524s as he crossed the tram lines and swept away to Brandywell. Davo Johnson who had been holding 5th position was a retirement at Bedstead; less than 1 mile from the pits.

Michael Dunlop.

A lap at 134.281mph gave Hickman an advantage of 8.067s as he entered pit lane for fuel and a new rear tyre. The first 5 all lapped at over 132mph; this is superb given the lack of preparation time. Hickman’s pit crew were slick and gained another 1.2s for their man; having him out in 54.77s. At Glen Helen, Hickman’s lead over Harrison was 10s; Cummins was 22s behind Harrison, but aided by a faster pit stop was now 11s ahead of Dunlop.  Harrison gained 0.5s on the run Ballaugh; but lost 1s on the 7 miles blast into Ramsey. Harrison was now 22s ahead of Cummins who had 13s in hand over Dunlop. Todd and Rutter held 5th and 6th but were being closed down by a charging Hillier.

James Hillier; acknowledging the crowd with his right foot.

Hickman was again rapid on the mountain ascent and led by 12.5s at the Bungalow. Entering the pits for the final time he had a lead of 13.5s over Harrison. Cummins was now 27.2s down on Harrison; but had increased has advantage over Dunlop to 15.83s. Hickman had another slick stop gaining 1.6s on Harrison. Just when things seemed to be set in a pattern, the momentum swung decisively in Harrison’s favour. At Glen Helen on lap 4 he had cut 10s out Hickman’s lead. The Smith’s team reported that there was an issue with the cooling system that they had been unable to resolve and this must have resurfaced. Peter later explained that once the problem started the machine would fire water out if the engine was working at above 11,000 rpm. He had to manage the problem but it hampered him severely; for example he was giving away 35mph on Sulby Straight.

At Ballaugh we had a new leader; Harrison was now 1.1s ahead of Hickman. Harrison was bang on line as he swept through Ramsey. We half expected Hickman to be a retirement; but he came through neat and tidy as ever to begin the mountain climb. Harrison’s lead was now 7.9s on our watch and now the mountain would be his friend given Hickman’s problem. At the Bungalow the lead was up to 14s; with Hickman 34s ahead of Cummins.

Davey Todd ahead of Derek Sheils.

Starting the final lap Harrison led by 53s; with Hickman 33.2s ahead of Cummins. Dunlop, Hillier and Todd filled out the leader board. With Harrison secure in first place, the main interest was on whether or not Cummins could snatch second from Hickman. The gap was 17.7 at Ballaugh and in Conor’s home town it was 12s as the riders took the applause of the crowd. Hickman restricted the damage to 3s on the mountain climb and managed to bring the BMW home 5.817s ahead of Cummins who had been managing a suspension issue since the third lap.

Dunlop took an unaccustomed 4th place; Hillier was 5th; edging out Davey Todd by just 2.57s; the latter lapping at 131.491mph on the final lap; he is a star in the making. Rutter brought the raucous MotoGP replica RCV Honda home in 7th; with leading privateer Jamie Coward taking a fine 8th place on his Yamaha. In doing so he became only the third rider to lap the Mountain Course at over 130mph on a Yamaha; the other two being the late William Dunlop and Dean Harrison.

Jamie Coward; best privateer.

Dunlop Senior TT

  1. Dean Harrison                 Silicone Kawasaki                             130.824mph
  2. Peter Hickman                Smith’s BMW                                    129.719mph
  3. Conor Cummins              Milenco Honda                                  129.599mph
  4. Michael Dunlop               Tyco BMW                                        129.028mph
  5. James Hillier                  Quattro Kawasaki                              127.740mph
  6. Davey Todd                    Penz 13 BMW                                   127.689mph
  7. Michael Rutter                Bathams Honda                                1270079mph
  8. Jamie Coward                Prez Yamaha                                     126.881mph
  9. Brian McCormack           ON-1 BMW                                        126.166mph
  10. Dominic Herbertson      Davies Kawasaki                               125.790mph

A troubled; frustrating and ultimately tiring TT meeting came to a close with a superb race and a deserved big bike victory for Dean Harrison who was robbed of one by machine failure last year. It was a rich reward for him and the dedicated Silicone Engineering team. It gave Kawasaki their first Senior TT win since Mick Grant on the two stroke four cylinder machine in 1975. Hickman was gracious in defeat; more than happy to have secured a hat trick of wins; especially his first Supersport win; appropriately on a Triumph. Cummins; again best of the Honda riders; took his fourth consecutive big bike podium finish and is determined to come back stronger next year. The fates seem to have conspired against Hutchy and John McGuinness, will this prove to have been the swansong for two true greats of the TT? The ongoing generational change has seen riders such as Davey Todd and Jamie Coward rising to prominence.

A huge well done is due to Gary Thompson and his team; how they remained sane is a mystery.

Latest News Gallery

Kawasaki’s complete 2020 off road line up unveiled 8“Most powerful yet” Kawasaki KX250 unveiled for 2020 model year 3Dainese Launches Smart Jacket 2Parallel Twin Power – Ninja 650 & Z650 1Pump your ride with SKS 1Garzo fastest as FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup gets back on track 1Viñales strikes late to top the Official Test 1Kawasaki is Calling 1Alpinestars - SMX PLUS v2 Boots 1Alpinestars - GP PRO R3 Glove 2Alpinestars - Racing Absolute leather suit 1Alpinestars - Tech-Air® Race airbag 1RiminiWorldSBK: Electric feel 1WorldSSP: Title pendulum set to take another swing at Misano 1WorldSSP300: the championship fight set to rage at Misano 1Excitement building at Suzuka 1Double Trouble: Elias Sweeps UMC 1Gajser and Prado Take Victories in Latvia 2Brookes reigns supreme to be crowned King of Brands after winning double 1Marquez wins, Quartararo soars and chaos reigns at Catalunya 1Alex Marquez demolishes Moto2™ to take over at the top 1Marcos Ramirez makes it a magnificent seven different history-makers in a row 1Elias Gets It Done In Race One At UMC 1Herlings and Prado win Saturday in Latvia 1Redding snatches it at Brands by 0.007s to claim first Bennetts BSB pole position 1Quartararo takes on Marquez as Yamaha make it a tight battle at the top in Barcelona 1Fernandez takes first pole, top six within a tenth in Moto2™ 1Rodrigo bests rookie Ogura to become seventh different polesitter in a row 1Fabio Quartararo heads a four-factory fight on Friday 1Lüthi leads a tight tussle for supremacy on Friday 1Lopez throws down the gauntlet on Day 1 1Brookes back on top at Brands Hatch after opening day in Kent 1MotoGP70: Riders suit up to celebrate the history of the sport in style 1"Four, maybe six riders can fight for the win": MotoGP™ ready for battle in Barcelona 2Weise Diablo leather jacket 1Over 300 Motorcycles Attend First Official French IMRG Rally 1Ewan McGregor, back on a Moto Guzzi 1Gajser & Prado take red plates to Latvia 1MotoGP70: Barcelona starts the celebrations 1Halfway To The Titles: Utah Motorsports Campus Up Next For MotoAmerica 1Bennetts BSB contenders set for King of Brands battle 1Prosecco DOC named Event Main sponsor of the 2019 WorldSBK UK Round 1LAW RETURNS WITH QUATTRO TEAM ABM GP2 BIKE AT BRANDS HATCH 1Leave Nothing Behind – 2018 Ninja H2 SX & Ninja H2 SX SE 2OptiMate Panel Show 1Moto Ain win FIM Endurance World Cup 1Danilo Petrucci storms Mugello for first Grand Prix win 1Double delight: Marquez takes first back-to-back Moto2™ wins 1Aron Canet conquers COTA in classic Moto3™ encounter 1F.C.C. TSR Honda France win in Germany 1Gajser and Prado Continue Winning Streak in Russia 2Decisive victories in Barcelona 1Michael van der Mark takes first win of the season as championship leader Bautista crashes 1Federico Caricasulo battles back to take Jerez victory 1WorldSSP300: Gonzalez extends advantage with Jerez victory 1Febvre and Prado Run Pole in Russia 1Bautista takes home win ahead of van der Mark. Melandri third after Rea penalty 1WorldSSP: Krummenacher on pole after Caricasulo penalty 1Brutal battle in WorldSSP300 sees Garcia return to winning ways 1Poles decided in Barcelona 1SRC Kawasaki retain pole 1Win all-expenses-paid trip to Italian Grand Prix with Maxxis 1Bautista back on top at the end of Friday free practices in Jerez 1Teammates Caricasulo and Krummenacher dominate day one of action in Jerez 1WorldSSP300: Gonzalez leads Spanish 1-2 after WorldSSP300 day one! 1Harrison takes victory in superb Senior TT to give Kawasaki first Senior win since 1975. 1Frenetic day at TT 2019 sees Hickman and Birchalls continue to dominate. 11SevenSeven2 MX join forces with Kawasaki Motors UK to offer new off‑road experiences 1Spidi - Bolide 1The FIM CEV Repsol arrives in Barcelona 1Patron MXGP of Russia Prepped to Race 1Triumph's Bobber Build Off - Ready for your votes 1Death of Daley Mathison overshadows TT wins for Hickman, Birchall brothers and Johnston. 3Venhill controls for 2019 MX bikes 1ARC VECTOR – THE REVOLUTION IS COMING 1LS2 helmet range glows 1Peugeot Pulsion – the smarter scooter 1ESPWorldSBK: Purebred passion 1WorldSSP heads to Jerez, where horse-power isn’t key 1WorldSSP300: Who will come out on top of the double-header at Jerez? 1It's Herrin In Race Two At Road America 1Cummins and Holden fastest as weather hit TT 2019 practice resumes. 4Danilo Petrucci storms Mugello for first Grand Prix win 1Double delight: Marquez takes first back-to-back Moto2™ wins 1Arbolino times his attack to perfection to take first win 1Reigning Champion vs rookie: Marquez snatches pole from Quartararo at Mugello 1Schrötter beats Lüthi to pole as Moto2™ records fall at Mugello 1Tony Arbolino holds the aces on home turf 1Carlos Tatay takes MugelloThings Get Rolling On Fast Friday At Road America 1Kunii aiming for a repeat of 2018 in Mugello 1Rookie invasion: Bagnaia and Quartararo rule Mugello on Day 1 1Luca Marini reigns Moto2™ on Day 1 at Mugello 1Suzuki sets the pace on Friday 1New Suzuki KATANA launched with low-rate finance for limited time only 1“One of the world's best tracks": Mugello awaits MotoGP™ 1Recovering Leon Camier to sit out the Spanish round at Jerez; Yuki Takahashi to replace him 1Indian Motorcycle unleashes V-Twin-powered fine art with its FTR 1200 Artist Series tank covers 1Lenovo™ announced as MotoGP™ Technical Partner 1All roads lead to Mugello: Dovizioso, Petrucci and Pirro ride through Tuscany 1

You may also like

Former British Motocross Champion Graeme Irwin Switches to Tarmac Racing in 2019

Carrasco claims historic WorldSSP300 title as Valle snatches maiden win in dramatic race

New Triumph Speed Twin and Thruxton TFC to Make UK Debut at London Motorcycle Show

Ben Wilson returns to racing with Gearlink Kawasaki in 2019

Morello Racing Kawasaki introduce new rider line‑up for 2019 Superstock