The first two 1000cc races of this year’s Isle of Man Tourist Trophy are over and the top step of the podium was occupied by a BMW road racer on both occasions. Michael Dunlop (GBR) won Saturday’s Superbike race. Monday’s Superstock race produced a one-two for the BMW S1000RR: Peter Hickman (GBR) claimed his first win on the Isle of Man, with Dunlop taking second place. Meanwhile, BMW riders were also in action in the MotoAmerica (MA) series at Road America.
Isle of Man Tourist Trophy.
The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy began with a shock for the BMW Motorrad Motorsport family. Tyco BMW rider Dan Kneen (GBR) was killed in a crash during Superbike qualifying on Wednesday evening. Together with Kneen’s family, the team made the decision not to withdraw from the event. Instead, the team and rider Michael Dunlop (GBR) took its place in the race in Kneen’s honor.
The first 1000cc race was the Superbike race on Saturday. It ended with victory for Dunlop – his 16th win on the Isle of Man. The keys to this success were two perfect pit stops and Dunlop’s determination. David Johnson (AUS / Gulf BMW) finished fourth. Michael Rutter (GBR / Bathams Racing) was fifth, with Martin Jessopp (GBR / Riders Motorcycles BMW) seventh. Philip Crowe (GBR / HandTrans-John Chapman Racing) also finished in the top-ten in ninth place.
In Monday’s Superstock race, it was the turn of Peter Hickman (GBR), of the Smiths Racing Team, to join the list of TT winners. “Hicky” took his maiden win on the Isle of Man, despite dropping back to tenth place following a mistake on the opening lap. This served as the catalyst to a spectacular fight-back from Hickman, who clocked an average speed of 134.403 mph (216.301 km/h) to set a new lap record enroute to his first Isle of Man win. Dunlop had to settle for second place that time. Johnson was fourth again, with Rutter, Jessopp and Sam West (GBR / PRL Worthington) sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.
“I wanted to do something in Dan’s memory and that win is for his family,” said Michael Dunlop. “It’s hard to celebrate this win – it’s been a hard week. I struggled at the start of the Superbike race and it took me time to settle. I had a bit of a problem with the rear end but I got my rhythm going and the Tyco BMW team have done a great job.“
Philip Neill (Team Manager Tyco BMW): “This has been a very emotional week for everyone involved; the loss of Dan is heart-breaking. The best thing we could do was help Michael put the Tyco BMW on the top step of the podium in dedication to Dan. Total respect to our crew in delivering the fastest ever pitstop and to Michael for his commitment. I know Michael had a smile on his face when reading his pit board on the final lap delivered by Dan’s partner Leanne with a tribute 55 alongside the P1.”
Peter Hickman: “Sitting here now as a TT winner feels pretty good! I thought I’d fluffed it at the start though when I overshot on the way into Braddan and I had to stop, reverse and then turn around again before I could get going and I must have lost 15 seconds at least. After that, I got my head down and it’s probably the hardest I’ve ever ridden around here whilst the wind also caught me out a couple of times over the Mountain as it was constantly changing direction. I’ve been fast on the Superstock bike all week and clawed my way back up to third at the end of the first lap, so I thought I was still in with a chance. I just got my head down and rode as hard as I could so this means a lot to me, my family and the team.”
This Friday, the BMW road racers round off the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy with the Senior TT. The race week has been overshadowed by another fatal crash in the 600cc class. Scotland’s Adam Lyon was killed in a crash in Monday’s Supersport race. The thoughts of the BMW Motorrad Motorsport community are with his family, friends and team.
MotoAmerica at Road America, USA.
Road America (USA) hosted the MotoAmerica (MA) series last weekend. BMW rider Danny Eslick (USA / Scheibe Racing) finished sixth and eighth in the two Superbike races (MA SBK). In the Superstock class (MA STK), Travis Wyman (USA / Weir Everywhere Racing) secured his third pole position in a row, however, he then failed to finish the race. Timothy Bermisderfer (USA / Big’un Motorsports) was eighth.