TT 2018: Who will take bragging rights in Senior?

By John Watterson   |   Sports Editor   |
Friday 8th June 2018 7:11 am
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Peter Hickman, Dean Harrison and Michael Dunlop (not pictured) are the favourites for today's Senior race (Photo: Dave Kneale) ()

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After one of the most thrilling TTs in years, and certainly the sunniest, three riders stand out as likely favourites for today’s PokerStars Senior.

The six-lap finale to the festival is likely to live up to its name as the blue riband of real road racing.

Dean Harrison was quickest in qualifying and further rocked the establishment by achieving a new outright course record from a standing start in the curtain-raiser RST Superbike race on Saturday afternoon at 134.432mph.

The Silicone Engineering Kawasaki’s clutch eventually fried and Michael Dunlop went on to eventually win the fastest six-lap TT race in history at an average of 130.324mph on the Tyco BMW.

Two days later, Peter Hickman came back from a first lap overshoot at Braddan to claim his maiden TT victory in the shorter RL360 Superstock race on the Smiths Racing BMW.

The average speed in this race was in fact superior to the Superbike and Hickman’s stunning final lap of 134.403mph was only 0.213 of a second short of the outright lap record Harrison had achieved on full slicks.

It makes you wonder if Hickman will go for the ‘stocker today in preference.

Dunlop and Harrison shared the two Supersport races between them, but there will be sharing the spoils in the Senior.

On paper, Harrison is now the quickest from Hickman, but who would write off Dunlop?

There is no more than a cigarette paper between the three and there is the likelihood that the potential winner may have to pull out a lap of 135mph to claim the most prestigious award in road racing.

Dunlop is the only man in the race to have won the big lady, but all three will be equally determined to lift it today.

Close behind, Manxman Conor Cummins and James Hillier will be in the wings ready to pick up a podium if any of the big three fail.

The race starts at 12.45pm, preceded by the three-lap Locate.im Sidecar race at 10.30am, where it is difficult to see past Ben and Tom Birchall raising their tally of wins to eight on the LCR Honda.

John Holden and local passenger Lee Cain are the other pair likely to feature strongly, in addition to Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes, but don’t be surprised if it turns into a race of attrition.

Full reports and all the news online at iomtoday.co.im and in Tuesday’s edition of the Isle of Man Examiner, which includes TT News extra.

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