Breathtaking Ian Hutchinson fastest in world at Ulster Grand Prix
Dundrod delight as 134mph barrier is smashed
Ian Hutchinson has been referred to as the Bionic Man and the Renaissance Kid and now World’s Fastest Road Racer has been added to his CV after setting the Ulster Grand Prix alight with a new outright lap record at 134.089mph.
Hutchinson took four wins on the day, three of those for Hector and Philip Neill’s Tyco BMW squad with a Superstock win and a Superbike double, not forgetting that amazing new lap record which makes him the fastest road racer on the planet.
The Bingley rider’s fourth win was in the second Supersport race, putting Prodigy front man Keith Flint’s Came BPD Yamaha on an International Road Racing top step for the third time this season.
The opening win of the day for Hutchinson, who celebrated his 37th birthday on the eve of the event on Friday, came in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Superstock race. This completed the international Superstock class road racing set for the Tyco BMW rider, having previously taken wins at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
Michael Dunlop brought his MD Racing BMW home in second place ahead of Dan Kneen who was third on the Mar-Train Racing R1 – a great result for the Manxman, who is not long back from injury.
Hutchinson couldn’t hide his delight with the victory for Tyco BMW, but his trip to the UGP this year was primarily to conquer the blue riband Superbike races, something he hasn’t managed since 2010.
To do that, he had to overcome fellow BMW pilot Michael Dunlop, who arrived at Dundrod with an unbeaten record in the international Superbike races this season.
Despite winning the red flagged Dundrod 150 Superbike race on Thursday night, the hard-charging Ballymoney man looked a little out of sorts yesterday, and Hutchinson took full advantage.
Speaking of his Superbike double and new outright lap record, the softly spoken Yorkshireman explained: “I’ve had a great year with the Tyco BMW team and it’s great to have taken all the Superstock wins this year, but we really wanted an international Superbike win to finish the road racing season on a high.”
And he achieved that aim at the double in two breathtaking duels with previous world record holder Bruce Anstey.
Recounting both races, Hutchinson said: “You just can’t make a plan around Dundrod, but if you did the ideal thing to do would be to lead in case there’s a red flag. I really enjoyed racing against Bruce in the opening race, but I couldn’t pull out of his slipstream.
That was a reference to Anstey’s RS213V-S MotoGP replica Honda, which has a cloud of doubt hanging over its eligibility to race at Dundrod, under the current FIM homologation regulation.
Beating Anstey was one thing, but Hutchinson went on strip away the Kiwi’s title of Fastest Road Racer in the World on the final lap of the second Superbike encounter, with that awe inspiring 134.087mph effort.
Anstey (below) had held the record since 2010 and Hutchinson said: “It’s been an amazing day. Conditions were nowhere near as perfect as 2010 when Bruce did his record-breaking lap, but the Tyco BMW is an unbelievable machine. It’s a great way to pay back the team for such a big effort all season.”
Michael Dunlop was third in both Superbike races aboard the Hawk Racing BMW.
Kiwi Anstey did have an impressive day himself, and although he couldn’t quite get the better of Hutchinson in the Superbike races, he did grab a top step – his 12th at the UGP – in the Centra Whitemountain Supersport encounter. Hutchy was second in that exchange with Padgetts Honda mounted Conor Cummins third.
The second Supersport race, sponsored by Barron Transport, went the way of Ian Hutchinson on Keith Flint’s Came Yamaha. He broke William Dunlop’s heart in the process, with a passing manoeuvre over the Ballymoney ace just two corners from home, when it looked like a Dunlop win was on the cards. Peter Hickman took third place and the fastest lap of the race.
Former British champion Dan Cooper, who was caught up in the incident with Ryan Farquhar during the North West 200 in May, was a worthy and popular winner of a blistering Supertwins encounter, which saw less than a second cover the top four.
Cookstown B.E Racing’s Derek Sheils took second place despite suffering clutch problems throughout, with James Cowton third on the McAdoo Kawasaki. Magherafelt’s Paul Jordan, who set the fastest lap of the race [116.859mph], was fourth.
The Lightweight and Ultra Lightweight winners on the day were Neil Kernohan and Christian Elkin.