Yamaha has signed Ben Spies to a one-year contract extension to continue racing on its MotoGP factory team in 2012. The extension comes after Spies, currently seventh in the Championship standings, recorded his first podium finish of the 2011 season, a third place result at Catalunya. Spies earned two other podium finishes in 2010 in […]
2011 Isle of Man TT Recap
The Isle of Man TT usually provides a lot of drama, and this year’s event was no different. John McGuinness, second on the all-time TT wins list, added two more wins to his resume to win the Joey Dunlop Trophy while MotoCzysz once again fell just short of taking the bounty for being the first electric motorcycle team to record a 100 mph lap on the Mountain Course.
The 2011 Isle of Man TT also had its share of tragedy with three racing fatalities. Sidecar racer Bill Currie and passenger Kevin Morgan died in an accident during qualifying while Derek Brien was killed in a high-speed crash in the first Supersport race.
The event also featured a parade lap with five-time World Champion Mick Doohan, Ducati MotoGP racer Nicky Hayden, Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP racer Cal Crutchlow, 2010 Isle of Man TT star Ian Hutchinson, and British Superbike racer Josh Brookes.
Full recap after the jump.
The 2011 Isle of Man TT kicked off with John McGuinness winning his 16th TT with a victory in the six-lap Dainese Superbike race. The Honda TT Legends rider averaged a speed of 127.870 mph on the Mountain Course, finishing the race in 1:46:13.40, almost 57 seconds faster than Cameron Donald of the Wilson Craig Honda team.
McGuinness led after the opening lap, running half a second faster than Padgetts Honda’s Bruce Anstey, the fastest rider from practice. Anstey had a blazingly fast second lap with a time of 17:13.88 to take the lead but a slow pit stop returned the advantage to McGuinness. Things got worse for Anstey on the third lap when he retired at the Quarry Bends, near the midpoint of the mountain course.
With Anstey out, McGuinness had a comfortable 20-second lead over the next fastest racers, Relentless Suzuki’s Guy Martin and Lincs Lifting Honda’s Gary Johnson. Johnson was later assessed a 30-second penalty for speeding in pit lane after lap 4, giving Martin a cushion in second place, but Martin was forced to retire on the next lap.
The race ended with McGuinness the only rider averaging over 127 mph. Donald was second with an average speed of 126.739 mph while Johnson was third at 126.549 mph.
Sure Sidecar 1
Klaus Klaffenbock and Daniel Sayle won their third straight Isle of Man TT Sidecar race with an average speed of 114.262 mph. The duo swept both Sidecar races in the 2010 TT and won the first Sidecar race of the 2011 event by 11 seconds over John Holden and Andrew Winkle.
Klaffenbock and Sayle led each of the race’s three laps for the win. Conrad Harrison and Mike Aylott came from behind on the final lap to beat Tim Reeves and Gregory Cluze for third behind Holden and Andrew.
Monster Energy Supersport 1
Anstey won his eighth Isle of Man TT race in a red-flag shortened Supersport 1 race. The win was however overshadowed by the death of Derek Brien in a high-speed accident.
The incident occurred during the second lap, and brought out the red flag, stopping the race. The race would later restart, but with only three laps instead of the originally scheduled four.
After the restart, it was Michael Dunlop, nephew of all-time TT wins leader Joey Dunlop, who led after the first lap, followed by Donald and Johnson. A mechanical problem however forced Dunlop to retire on the second lap, putting Johnson into the lead, 30 seconds ahead of Donald and Anstey. That lead evaporated after a pit stop however, as Donald took over the lead. His lead was short-lived as he retired with a mechanical problem, giving Anstey a comfortable lead.
Anstey would finish with an average speed of 124.232 mph ahead of Keith Amor and Martin.
Royal London Superstock
Michael Dunlop rebounded from his disappointing Supersport 1 race to take the Superstock race with an average time of 127.129 mph for Street Sweep Kawasaki.
Guy Martin led after the first lap but a quick second lap gave Dunlop a 15 second lead. From then on, Dunlop was in control, finishing the four-lap race nearly 19 seconds ahead of McGuinness. Martin would finish in third, four seconds behind McGuinness.
Monster Energy Supersport 2
Rain forced a stop to the second Supersport race, and despite efforts to restart, organizers decided to reschedule the June 8 races which also included the second Sidecar race and the TT Zero electric race. The races were moved back a day to June 9.
Gary Johnson won the rescheduled Supersport 2 race. Johnson took his first Isle of Man TT victory with an average speed of 123.819 mph, ahead of McGuinness’ 123.582 mph and Martin’s 123.220 mph. Johnson led from start to finish, completing the first lap with a 10 second advantage over McGuinness.
After the race leaders made their pit stops, a red flag was mistakenly waved by a marshal at one section of the track. Several riders stopped at the red flag but it was rescinded and racing resumed. A second flag marshal had also raised his flag at a different section of the course but it was also withdrawn. Several of the race leaders including Amor, Donald and Martin had slowed at the sight of the second red flag but race control ruled the false flags did not severely impact the final result.
Sure Sidecar 2
John Holden and Andy Winkle ended with a victory in the second Sidecar race.
A broken water hose clip put an end to Klaus Klaffenbock and Daniel Sayle’s Isle of Man TT winning streak. Klaffenbock and Sayle led the first two laps before the broken clip slowed them down on the final lap.
Klaffenbock and Sayle’s misfortune gave John Holden and Andrew Winkle their first Isle of Man TT victories as they averaged a sped of 113.469 mph. Conrad Harrison and Mike Aylott finished second at 112.062 mph while Tony Elmer and Darren Marshall completed the podium with an average speed of 111.212 mph.
SES TT Zero
Michael Rutter and the MotoCzysz E1PC won the TT Zero electric motorcycle race. The win was the second in a row for MotoCzysz, but the E1PC again fell short of scoring the bounty for being the first electric bike team to average over 100 mph.
Rutter had an average speed of 99.604 mph, beating the 99.513 mph mark set by Mark Miller in the 2010 TT Zero. Rutter was actually recorded going 149.5 mph through a speed trap but he later said he held back to save power for the entire lap.
The TT Zero was held in a single-lap time trial format with riders starting at 10 second intervals. Rutter was the second rider to start, behind Miller, and was able to pass the 2010 TT Zero winner near the first checkpoint.
Miller finished second with an average speed of 98.288 mph. George Spence of the Ecotricity Kingston University team was a distant third, riding the school’s Ion Horse electric bike, averaging 88.435 mph to win an award for the top university team. Allan Brew from MIT was third with a speed of 79.163 mph while Yoshinari Matsushita was third with an average speed of 69.877 mph for Team Prozza.
Pokerstars Senior TT
McGuinness scored Isle of Man TT win number 17 in the Senior race to cap off the 2011 event. McGuinness averaged a speed of 128.426 mph for the win, beating Martin and Anstey.
The race was delayed several hours due to rain and hail on the north side of the island but when the race started, it was Martin off to a quick start, leading the opening lap by five seconds over Anstey, seven seconds ahead of McGuinness.
A quick pit stop helped McGuinness erase Martin’s lead, putting him in front on the third lap. A race-best 131.248 mph average speed on lap four gave McGuinness a 12 second lead over Antsey and Martin before he headed for his second pit stop. McGuinness would finish seven seconds ahead of Martin for the win.
With 17 victories, McGuinness is second in career Isle of Man TT wins, behind only Joey Dunlop’s 26 wins.
His two wins and two other podium finishes also gave him the Joey Dunlop Trophy and the 2011 TT Championship.