Dunlop has once again proved its road racing capabilities with supported riders filling all top five positions in the opening event at the Centenary Isle of Man TT. 2006 TT hat-trick hero John McGuinness led the Bennetts Superbike race from start to finish, scoring his first TT victory of the year in front of thousands of spectators. The four remaining positions went to Dunlop's Guy Martin, Ian Hutchinson, Martin Finnegan and Ian Lougher.
The first Superbike race was originally due to start at midday on Saturday 2 June. However, the island was plagued with unpredictable weather conditions over the course of the weekend and the day's racing schedule was postponed until this afternoon.
McGuinness was the man to beat in the six-lap race after he recorded a staggering 129.085mph lap during Thursday evening's practice session. The road racing veteran opted to contest Dunlop's specially-produced TT-specification Triple Tread Compound (TTC) slicks for today's race when weather conditions slowly started to improve.
A good start from the line enabled 34-year-old McGuinness to quickly open up an eight-second advantage on Martin by the second lap, before extending his lead on his fellow Honda campaigner to 22.05s by the end of lap three. McGuinness increased his advantage over Martin to 31.13s at Glen Helen on the penultimate lap, before recording an impressive 171.6mph through the speed trap.
Although McGuinness' advantage had narrowed to 26s at Ballaugh Bridge on the final circuit, he had already done enough to secure his first TT victory of the year.
Morecambe-based McGuinness's success in today's Bennetts Superbike race raises Dunlop's expectations for the forthcoming races. The HM Plant Honda Racing rider made history at last year's Isle of Man TT by clinching a trio of victories, lap records and fastest-ever races and already looks well on track to repeat the hat-trick in 2007.
- 1. John McGuinness
- 2. Guy Martin
- 3. Ian Hutchinson
- 4. Martin Finnegan
- 5. Ian Lougher
- 6. Ryan Farquhar
- 7. Adrian Archibald
- 8. Conor Cummins
- 9. Ian Armstrong
- 10. Steve Plater