Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson etched their names further into the TT record books with emphatic victories in this year’s Isle of Man TT. But it was Dunlop who would have the last laugh.
The Isle of Man TT, the world’s oldest and most storied motorcycle race, was once again dominated by two titans of the modern era in Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson. The long time arch rivals once again pushed themselves to breaking point, and for Dunlop that meant a series of mechanical issues and for Hutchinson, it meant a broken leg.
The man who came back from horrific injuries in 2010 to once again dominate real roads racing suffered a huge crash at the 27th Milestone in the Senior TT while battling for the lead with Dunlop, meaning there would be no fairytale end to his 2017 TT after earlier winning the Superbike and Superstock TTs for Tyco BMW, taking his personal victory tally to 16.
Dunlop’s win in the Senior, along with his earlier win in the Supersport TT, moved him onto 15 TT victories. And for Suzuki, victory in the 2017 Senior TT broke a drought that stretched back to 2003, when Adrian Archibald won for TAS Suzuki, ironically the team Hutchinson rides for now (branded Tyco BMW).
The 2017 TT saw the emergence of a new star in British Superbike rider, Peter Hickman. The Briton was dynamic around the Mountain Course, taking five podiums and the Joey Dunlop TT Championship Trophy with 76 points over Hutchinson (61) and Dunlop (60).
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Notable performances also came from Dean Harrison with a podium in the Superbike and Senior TTs and James Hillier, who survived an incredibly scary moment in the Senior TT at Ballagary and took second to Dunlop in the Supersport TT.
Michael Rutter turned back the clock for a win in the Lightweight TT and Bruce Anstey took the gold in the one lap Zero TT for electric bikes.
The 2017 Isle of Man TT was marred by the deaths of three racers. Alan Bonner died after crashing during Senior TT qualifying; Jochem van den Hoek passed away following an accident in the Superstock TT and Davey Lambert died three days after sustaining injures in an accident during the Superbike TT.
Here are some of the finest images from iomtt.com as we count down the days to TT 2018:
Photography by iomtt.com
The man in his element. Michael Dunlop is a formidable proposition when it comes to road racing, and he proved it once again by taking a brand new, untested motorcycle in the 2017 Suzuki GSX-R and winning the Senior TT with it.
PICTURE BY TONY GOLDSMITH
Madness and greatness combined. The Birchall brothers, Ben and Tom, continue to light up the Isle of Man every year in the Sidecar category. The former World Champions were undefeated at the 2017 TT, and set a new lap record at 117.119mph.
The style of a warrior: Ian Hutchinson is one of the toughest men on the face of the planet. An horrific accident in 2010 that nearly took his left leg did not stop him from chasing his TT dream, and he added two more wins in the Superbike and Superstock TTs to his name.
Michael Rutter wound back the clock in the Lightweight TT this year. The canny veteran took his first win since 2013 on the Mountain Circuit, and the first for legendary Italian marque Paton.
Dean Harrison couldn’t add another win to his personal tally but he did take two podium places over race week. Here he guns the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki past the Raven Hotel in Ballaugh in the Superbike TT.
Peter Hickman was never less than beaming all week at the TT. The new star took a stunning five podiums in 2017 and is now a firm favorite to break his TT duck in 2018.
Bruce Anstey ensured Mugen remained Zero TT champions after cruising to victory in the electric bike race.
Former Moto3 racer Danny Webb gets ready for the off in the Superbike TT. He was lucky to survive a big crash at Laurel Bank, sustaining a dislocated shoulder and four damaged vertebrae.
Pit stops are where races can be won and lost. For Harrison (9), a long pit stop cost him the chance of victory in the Superbike TT to Ian Hutchinson.
Hutchy pits for new rubber, a visor change and a tank of gas in the Superstock TT. The Yorkshireman held his nerve to take what would become his 16th career TT win.
Full commitment from Hickman through one of the most spectacular corners of the track at Union Mills.
Lee Johnston was an early favorite for a TT win but a crash in practice ruled him out of the meeting with back injuries.