Dunlop in lucky escape as Hutchinson takes TT win

William Dunlop may miss the remainder of the TT after crashing out of a practice session on Monday
Willis Marshall

BALLYMONEY rider William Dunlop may be out of the remainder of this year's TT after suffering a nasty crash during a practice session on Monday.

Dunlop, who was riding the Tyco BMW Superstock machine, crashed out at the notorious Laurel Bank section of the 37-mile circuit. He was airlifted to Nobles Hospital in Douglas, where it was disclosed that he had suffered chest injuries, none of which were life threatening.

A spokesperson for the Tyco BMW team said Dunlop was recovering well, although he was battered and bruised. William's accident comes just 24 hours after his brother Michael crashed out of Sunday's TT Superbike race, where he received slight leg injuries.

William Dunlop was one of the pre-race favourites for Monday's Monster Energy Supersport 600 race one, which was won by Yorkshire rider Ian Hutchinson, who has had a fairytale return to the TT after he suffered a near career ending leg injury four years ago.

On the opening lap, it was Lincolnshire's Gary Johnson on the Mar-Train Racing Yamaha who was setting the pace, taking a two-second lead over Dean Harrison, who, in turn, had just a one second advantage over Yorkshire's Ian Hutchinson on the Traction Control Yamaha. Michael Dunlop, who was still suffering from his spill in Sunday's Superbike race was clearly not comfortable and was way down in 11th place at Glen Helen.

At the end of lap one, it was Ian Hutchinson who had taken the lead, with the Yorkshire man lapping at an incredible 126.400mph from a standing start, and he held a narrow lead of 0.7 seconds from Gary Johnson, Bruce Anstey, and Dean Harrison.

On lap two, Dean Harrison was reported as having stopped at Sulby Crossroads, while Michael Dunlop was out after having stopped at Kirk Michael. With the refuelling stop coming up at the end of lap two, it was still Hutchinson who was leading, with the Yamaha rider now extending his lead and, after his pit stop, he had a seven second lead over Bruce Anstey, who had set the fastest lap of the race to date at 126.984mph as the leaders headed out on their third lap from four.

Gary Johnson on the Mar-Train Yamaha was holding onto third place from Guy Martin, but Martin was to incur a 30-second penalty for speeding in pit lane at the end of the refuelling lap.

By Ramsey on lap three, Hutchinson had again extended his lead, with 7.5 seconds the advantage from Anstey in second and Johnson in third place, with this trio now the main focus of the race.

At the end of lap three and going out onto their four and final lap, it was Ian Hutchinson who continued to lead the way, with the Bringley Bullet maintaining his lead over Bruce Anstey and Gary Johnson, with Fermanagh rider Lee Johnston holding onto a fine fourth place with Guy Martin fifth and James Hillier sixth.

At Glen Helen on the final lap, New Zealand's Bruce Anstey on the Vavoline Padgett's Honda was making a late charge for the lead and had reduced Hutchinson's lead to just five seconds, but Hutchinson was having none of that and on the run between Glen Helen and Ramsey Hairpin, Hutchinson had opened the throttle and extended is lead to 8.8 seconds over Anstey and with the run over the mountain just left to go, it looked like game set and match to Hutchinson barring any problems.

Hutchinson maintained his lead and at the chequered flag took a very popular win on Prodigy front man Keith Flints Team Traction Control R6 Yamaha with a lap speed of 127.571mph.

Speaking about his win, Hutchinson said, "this is really good, this is a special win for me after my accident four years ago and I thought I would never be on this top step at the Isle of Man again. I'm extremely grateful for all the support from all the Team and the fans who waved me on in this race".

Second place man Bruce Anstey was magnanimous in defeat saying that Hutchinson deserved the win more than anyone. "I gave it my all. Ian deserved this win especially after everything he has come through. I made a few mistakes on the last lap but I am still really happy with this podium result".

Fermanagh's Lee Johnston took an excellent fourth place finish and was the first Irish rider home. Ballyclare's Jamie Hamilton finished in 15th place, Mullingar rider Derek Magee 20th, Dublins Michael Sweeney 24th, Saintfields Davy Morgan 28th, and Dublin's Derek Sheils 30th.

Earlier in the day, Ben and Tom Birchall took the first of the two Sure TT Sidecar race win with five seconds to spare over runners up John Holden and Dan Sayle.

Racing continues today in the Isle of Man with the Royal London 360 Superstock race over four laps due away at 12.15pm.



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