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June 10 – from Bill Penney
Confirmation overnight that the roads would be closed at 10am followed by a 2 lap Supersport race at 10:45 to be followed by a 2 lap sidecar race at 12 and the main event of the week, the Senior TT at 2:15.
Once more Andrew and I chose to view the racing at Ballacrane as it was really close to the riders, offered food and drink and most importantly, toilets. I had brought a family back from the circuit on Wednesday and offered to pick them up Friday morning in Port Erin so that’s what I did in my weenie little Suzuki Celerio while Andrew rode his Yamaha R1.
The sky was blue, the sun was shining and on cue at 10:48 the first of the 600’s ridden by Dean Harrison screamed into view quick shifting down through 4 gears to take the 90 degree bend at about 70 mph. Rider #6 Michael Dunlop, who won Monday’s race and set a new lap record, had already passed the rider who started 10 seconds ahead of him, was setting a fearsome pace and by the end of the 1st lap was leading the race by over a second from Peter Hickman on the 765cc Triumph followed by Harrison. Dunlop went on to win the race with Hickman and Harrison in 2nd and 3rd to grab his 21st TT victory. This was the first year that Hickman had ridden the 765 and everyone agreed that with time and engine development he could be in contention next year for a class victory.
Next up the 2nd sidecar race which started on time was led by the Birchall brothers again but was red flagged on the 2 lap bringing the race to a close with no explanation at the time. We were advised that the Senior race was to be postponed until 4 but at 3 the heavens opened forcing a cancellation until Saturday. I was duly not happy as my flight back to London was scheduled for Saturday morning so I would miss it.
Later that afternoon it was confirmed that tragically a sidecar outfit had crashed at the same place at the start of lap 2, where the Saturday crash had taken place, this time claiming the lives of a father and son team. The father had been racing at the island for 20 years so it was not due to novice inexperience. A full investigation will, no doubt, determine the cause of the crash.
Luckily at the airport while waiting for my flight I hooked up with some German guys who were watching the race on their phones so saw the first 3 laps anyway. Andrew, who was not to leave until Sunday texted me that our boy Hickman had won followed by Harrison and local Conor Cummins.
Can’t wait to return next year.