Isle of Man TT: Ian Hutchinson clinches Superbikes victory

By Richard PetrieBBC Sport on the Isle of Man
Ian Hutchinson achieved his first TT Superbike success for seven years
Ian Hutchinson achieved his first TT Superbike success for seven years

Ian Hutchinson won Sunday's rescheduled Superbike race to become the third most successful solo rider at the Isle of Man TT.

The 37-year-old Yorkshireman's 15th win on the island moved him ahead of the late Mike Hailwood.

Hutchinson was five seconds ahead of Peter Hickman, who achieved his first TT podium finish, while Kawasaki-mounted Dean Harrison was third.

Tyco BMW rider Hutchinson had not won a premier big bike class since 2010.

Early leader Michael Dunlop retired on lap two at Handleys Corner.

Dunlop's uncle, the late Joey Dunlop, holds the record of 26 solo TT wins, with Morecambe's John McGuinness on 23.

Michael Dunlop, on a Bennetts Suzuki, set the fastest lap of the race on his opening circuit at 131.13mph, opening up a 1.8-second advantage over Harrison before his retirement.

Despite securing trebles in each of the last two years after his return from serious injury, a Superbike victory had eluded Hutchinson since 2010 as he was forced to settle for second behind Dunlop in both big bike races last year.

For his Northern Ireland-based TAS team, it was a first Superbike win since Cameron Donald's success on a Suzuki in 2008.

"I was struggling early on in fourth place and on the first lap I was thinking I may not have the bike set up well enough to win," said Hutchinson.

"But I thought it's a TT race over six laps and I'll just dig in.

"I had a bit of luck with a few people going out and my pit boards were changing all the time in the early stages.

"I really had to start motoring after my lead was reduced to two seconds on the last lap and the backmarkers came into play. I just had to respect them, get past and keep smooth."

Harrison finished eight seconds behind Hickman, with James Hillier a further 1.7 seconds adrift in fourth and Manxman Dan Kneen and Michael Rutter completing the top six.

The Nortons of David Johnson and Josh Brookes were seventh and eighth, while William Dunlop was ninth.

Guy Martin crashed out unhurt on the first lap at Doran's Bend.