Ian Hutchinson kicked off the 2017 Isle of Man TT with a victory in the Superbike TT. Hutchinson completed the six-lap race in a time of 1:48:58.474, narrowly beating out fellow BMW rider Peter Hickman by five seconds. Kawasaki riders Dean Harrison and James Hillier were also close, finishing within 15 seconds of Hutchinson.
Last year’s winner, Michael Dunlop, led after the first lap with an average speed of 131.135 mph which stood as the fastest lap of the race. Harrison was second with Hillier close behind. Dunlop continued to lead over the first nine miles of the second lap but Harrison was quickly closing the gap. A couple of miles later, however, Dunlop had to retire, ceding the lead to Harrison with Hillier running second.
The lead riders headed to the pit after the second lap with Harrison holding a 5.4 second gap. Hickman was third followed by Hutchinson, with local Manx racers Conor Cummins and Dan Kneen in fifth and sixth, respectively.
Harrison exited the pits with his lead intact but Hutchinson caught up and had taken over the overall lead about halfway through the third lap. The lead riders remained close however, with just 10.5 seconds separating the top four.
The leaders remained tight through fourth lap before they entered the pits once more. Hutchinson led when they returned to the course ahead of Hickman and Hillier. By Glen Helen, Hillier had moved up to second but Hutchinson remained ahead by 9.5 seconds.
The lead shrank to 7.95 seconds entering the final lap, but by Hickman cut the lead to less than three seconds as they entered the final 20 miles. Hickman continued to close the gap but Hutchinson managed to hang on for his 15th TT victory.
|2017 Isle of Man TT: RST Superbike TT Top Six Results|
|1||Ian Hutchinson||BMW/Tyco BMW||1:45:58.474||128.170 mph|
|2||Peter Hickman||BMW/Smiths Racing||1:46:03.544||128.068 mph|
|3||Dean Harrison||Kawasaki/Silicone Engineering||1:46:11.545||127.907 mph|
|4||James Hillier||Kawasaki/JG Speedfit Kawasaki||1:46:13.281||127.873 mph|
|5||Dan Kneen||BMW/Team Penz 13.com BMW Motorrad||1:47:50.068||126.132 mph|
|6||Michael Rutter||BMW/Bathams SMT Racing||1:47:50.203||125.957 mph|