Michael Dunlop took his second win of the 2014 Isle of Man TT Races with a comfortable victory in the Superstock race.
Riding the MD Racing BMW, Dunlop was locked in an early battle with Supersport winner Gary Johnson, but a crash at the Waterworks for the Lincolnshire rider ended his charge. He was reported as conscious and was taken by airmed to Nobles Hospital with fractures.
At the point of the accident, Johnson was holding second at Ramsey on the opening lap, having been one of four riders at the sharp end separated by just half a second – Dunlop, Johnson, Dean Harrison and James Hillier.
By the time Dunlop screamed through the Grandstand for the first time he held a 6.7 second lead over Harrison, with Bruce Anstey holding third and Hillier fourth. Conor Cummins and Guy Martin completed the top six positions.
Dunlop continued to pull away throughout the second lap, holding a lead just shy of 13 seconds as he came in for his pitstop. The second lap also saw Dunlop post the fastest lap of the race at 129.778mph. Anstey remained in third, while Cummins, Martin and Michael Rutter all moved up a place as Hillier began dropping down the order.
After what appeared to be a slow pitstop, Harrison managed to close the gap to Dunlop to just nine seconds at Glen Helen for the third time, but by the time they reached the Grandstand for the penultimate time the Superbike winner had extended the margin back to 18 seconds. It was not a good lap for Guy Martin, however, who retired at Parliament Square.
Dunlop managed the margin back to Harrison on the final lap to come through and secure his ninth TT win, and his third, on a third different bike manufacturer, Superstock win. Harrison’s second was good enough to equal his best at the TT, following second in the 2013 Lightweight TT, while Bruce Anstey took third.
“There’s some great names there,” said the 25-year-old Ballymoney rider of joining the likes of Anstey, David Jefferies and Charlie Williams on nine TT wins. “Hopefully theres a few years left of me yet, but, we’ll just wait and see. Every time I’m riding here it’s something special and especially to do it on a BMW. That’s a big feather in my cap, I’ve won now on a Honda stocker, a Kawasaki stocker and a BMW stocker. I’m really delighted about that.”
While the top three were relatively secure throughout the final lap, the battle for fourth was anything but, with less than three seconds separating fourth to seventh. The position eventually went to David Johnson, beating Cummins, who’s past came back to haunt him as his bike refused to fire up during the pitstop, to the line by just 0.8 seconds.
After the race it was deemed that Cummins had an ineligible suspension component fitted to his Honda machine, resulting in a two minute time penalty being awarded to the big man from Ramsey. As a result, he dropped from fifth down to eighteenth.
The penalty promoted Lee Johnston up to personal best result of fifth, ahead of Michael Rutter, Dan Kneen, newcomer Peter Hickman, who improved his personal best lap to 126.545mph, and 20-time TT winner John McGuinness.
Hickman’s brilliant top ten result saw him take the honours in the Privateer’s category, with Horst Saiger and James Cowton filling the top three spots. Ivan Lintin‘s 15th place result means he remains at the top of the TT Privateer’s Championship with 56 points, just six points clear of Hickman.