TT 2016: Ian Hutchinson demands apology after Supersport spat

Tyco BMW rider Ian Hutchinson and PokerStars Senior TT champion Michael Dunlop pictured during the post-race press conference on Friday.
Tyco BMW rider Ian Hutchinson and PokerStars Senior TT champion Michael Dunlop pictured during the post-race press conference on Friday.

Disgruntled Isle of Man TT hat-trick winner Ian Hutchinson is seeking an apology following the controversial row that broke out following his victory in last Wednesday’s second Monster Energy Supersport race.

The Yorkshire rider, who lost his cool and launched into an astonishing rant at Michael Dunlop after his defeat to the Ulster rider in the blue riband PokerStars Senior race on Friday, was responding to an official statement released on Saturday by the TT organisers in relation to a spat that erupted following his second win on Keith Flint’s Team Traction Control Yamaha.

A question was raised over the pistons used in Hutchinson’s machine, when it is understood an official involved in the post-race inspection voiced initial concerns over the parts.

In Friday’s explosive Senior TT press conference, Hutchinson accused race winner and arch-rival Dunlop of ‘spreading a rumour’ that his pistons were oversized – claims the Ballymoney man laughed off.

Earlier in the week Dunlop, who finished as the runner-up to the English rider in Wednesday’s second race, was disqualified from race one due to a technical infringement last Monday.

It was revealed that the illegal element inside his Yamaha engine was a set of coated cam buckets, which had been eligible under the rules two years ago when it was originally built.

The engine, refreshed and rebuilt for the TT, was supplied to Dunlop by the Lisburn-based Mar-Train Yamaha team, which later issued a statement accepting responsibility for the ‘oversight’ and apologising to Dunlop and his team.

The TT organisers also put out a statement making it clear that they did not believe any ‘deliberate attempt to gain an unfair advantage’ had been made.

Following Hutchinson’s outburst on Friday after the Senior race, when he criticised Dunlop and claimed the Northern Ireland rider had made a protest against him, ACU Events Ltd issued the following statement: “As is standard procedure after every TT race the machines of the top three finishers, as well as selected other machines, are subject to extensive post race technical inspections by qualified event officials to ensure that they comply with the TT regulations.

“This technical inspection was carried out on all of the top three finishers in TT Supersport Race 2 on Wednesday, 8th June and no discrepancies were identified in any of the motorcycles checked and no team or competitor lodged official protests.

“A question was raised during the post race inspection regarding the size of the pistons of one of the machines in the top three and the pistons were found to comply with TT regulations.

“The organisers are entirely confident that there is no issue with any of the podium finishers in the Supersport 2 Race.”

Hutchinson, though, has refused to let the issue go and took to Twitter to demand an apology, saying: “I won’t be happy until the scrutineer involved apologises for his incompetence in creating this suspicion!”

The 36-year-old won three more races this year at the TT in a repeat of his 2015 treble in the Supersport and Superstock classes, drawing level with Mike Hailwood on 14 victories.

However, he had to play second fiddle to Dunlop in the top-of-the-bill RST Superbike and PokerStars Senior races, who shattered the outright lap and race records, raising the bar to 133.962mph.

Dunlop, who made his debut at the TT in 2007, is now one win behind Hutchinson and Hailwood and is the fifth most successful solo TT rider of all time.

Of his 13 victories, five have been achieved in the premier Superbike class.