Isle of Man: TT 2014
Isle of Man TT races begin with new outright lap record.
Monday and Tuesday night practices were completed under dry and sunny conditions, with the weather turning quickly Wednesday night practice was cancelled due to inclement weather around sections of the course, as was Thursday night.
This lead to many riders unable to complete any laps successfully and some none at all leaving them unable to set up their respective machines ready for Saturdays first race.
The whole of the paddock and visitors alike were all contemplating if the new BMW machine of Michael Dunlop would actually cover a full 6 laps of the TT course under the pressure of race conditions.
With Michael not having ridden the bike previously until it arrived on the IOM completely untested, everyone was asking the question of how could a returning manufacturer produce a race winning untested machine? Especially on such an unforgiving course, and over 226 continuous race miles.
With the lack of testing and data information and the 2 previous nights of on track action Michael was not holding back when on track, having already posted a near circuit record the anticipation of the first race day was at an all time high.
RACE DAY ONE
Bruce Anstey ups the ANTE with record Breaking lap.
One of the top favorites for the race win Gary Johnson stopped at Creg ny Baa with a blown engine putting a valiant and race leading effort to a quick end on lap 1.
As the race progressed records were already beginning to fall in quick succession as the bikes proceeded on their first lap, Michael Dunlop breaking the lap record from a standing start posting a time of 131.73 mph, then once again on the second lap posting a time of 131.89 mph.
Having caught and passed all the riders in front of him by lap 4 having started from 6th place visitors ,pit crew .mechanics , media officials and especially BMW held their breathes as Michael continued on his way down Bray Hill to complete his last lap.
What was to unfold nobody would have guessed as Bruce Anstey was to surprise everyone during his last lap, having run off the circuit in the early stages of the race Bruce was fighting back, just 4 miles from home and again running off the racing line at the Creg, giving onlookers a much closer view than was anticipated, and a heart stopping moment for Bruce as he continued on his way for all he was worth.
Meanwhile Michael was well ahead on the road and crossed the finish line giving BMW their first win in 75 years, a tremendous effort, Michael was overjoyed for his win and also for what he thought was also a new all time lap record, Bruce had indeed upped the lap record on his last lap to a staggering 132.298 mph breaking the former elusive 132 marker all the top riders were looking for.
Having now upped the ante by a considerable amount and along with the reliability of the big BMW machine proven should the weather be kind and the sunshine on the Senior race could the 132.298 mph be lifted higher one may ask ?
Words and images courtesy of Glynne Lewis