It looked like Martin was going to take his first ever TT win when he led by 3 seconds at Glen Helen on the third lap but by the end of the lap his lead had been whittled down to an almost unbelievable 0.04seconds! Hutchinson had lost time at his pit stop when the filler cap wouldn’t go in but he absolutely flew on the last lap and, having broken the lap record on the second lap, he smashed it even further on the final lap with a speed of 129.746mph. Martin had to settle for second once more and Keith Amor took third to make it an identical 1-2-3 to the earlier Supersport race.
The 6.30pm start meant that cooler conditions were very much the order of the day but they were ideal for racing and it was Amor on his Wilson Craig Honda who set the initial pace, leading at Glen Helen on the first lap albeit by just one second. John McGuinness was in second just ahead of Padgetts team-mate Hutchinson and Conor Cummins on the McAdoo Kawasaki but pre-race favourites Bruce Anstey and Guy Martin were down in 8th and 9th respectively.
As the field completed their first lap, McGuinness had seized the lead from Hutchinson and Amor with Martin charging up to fourth. Anstey pulled in though to compound a truly miserable day with Michael Dunlop also an early retirement, adding to his earlier DNF in the Supersport when he stopped at Snugborough.
The difference between the top 4 was only 2.39 seconds but as they approached half distance the race was turning in to a two-way fight between Hutchinson and Martin. The Yorkshire rider had a two-second lead as they came in to refuel, both riders having smashed the lap record. McGuinness was suffering from tyre problems though and had a major slide at Greeba Bridge, his charge dented as he slipped back to 4th. Ryan Farquhar was out of luck once more, retiring at Cronk ny Mona on the second lap.
Hutchinson’s pit-stop problems meant Martin took over once more, his lead now 3 seconds, with Amor continuing to hold station in third although it was now Steve Plater up to fourth as McGuinness slipped further back. By Ramsey, Martin’s lead was just 0.3 seconds as Hutchinson really began to charge and they were almost dead level as they started their final lap, the gap just 0.05seconds after 113 miles of racing!
The race was very much on the knife edge, and one of the best ever witnessed at the TT, but Hutchinson was proving unstoppable and an amazing final lap of 129.746mph saw him take both the win and the lap record, his third TT win in total. Martin had to settle for the bridesmaid spot once more with Amor in third with a near 129mph lap.
Plater and McGuinness took fourth and fifth for the Padgetts team, Hondas again filling the top five positions, with Conor Cummins having a good ride into sixth. The top ten was completed by Gary Johnson, Carl Rennie and Daniel Kneen, again performing brilliantly, in tenth.
As well as Tinmouth’s feats, the race also saw three of the newcomers break the 120mph barrier. Steve Mercer, Luis Carreira and Ben Wylie all achieved the mark with the former taking the best lap at 121.362mph.
Today’s results mean that Ian Hutchinson has surged to the top of the leaderboard in the race for the Joey Dunlop Trophy, which will be awarded this year to the rider with the most points accumulated from the five solo races. Guy Martin is second in the championship with John McGuinness a point ahead of Steve Plater in third with 47 points from the three races to date.