The Penrith-based Paul Bird Motorsport team wrapped up their 2015 Isle of Man TT Races campaign today with Ian Hutchinson taking third place on the PBM Kawasaki ZX-10R in the PokerStars Senior TT.
The Bingley rider had taken victory in the RL 360 Superstock TT race earlier in the week for the team, as well as finishing second in the RST Superbike race on Sunday and the third place today completed their 100% record of finishing on the podium in every race they started.
The race got underway at 12.30pm but was only a lap and a half old when it was red flagged due to an incident. It was eventually re-started at 2.45pm and over the distance of four laps, rather than the initial six. When it did get underway, an opening lap of 131.697mph placed Hutchy in second place, just 1.2 seconds behind the pace setting, and eventual race winner John McGuinness.
The gap remained similar throughout the second lap but approaching Signpost Corner, only a mile before the start and finish, the 35-year-old overshot the corner and when he got to the pits for his solitary pit stop, the gap to McGuinness had increased to over ten seconds. Hutchy then had to contend with a bike that was losing power after suffering a hole in the exhaust and although James Hillier overhauled him for second, he was able to nurse the bike home for a solid third place.
Ian Hutchinson: "It's been an amazing week and I really wanted a Superbike race win for Paul Bird but I made a mistake at Signpost and then blew a hole in the exhaust so I had to limp home. I finished on the podium again though and I've had a mega week. It's testament to Paul for giving me so much time on the bikes before coming here and after having a good North West 200 we arrived all raring to go. After everything I've been through these last five years, to come back, be competitive and win races has been superb and the future's looking good. John's pretty special at the TT so to be sitting next to him today and having been such a part of his career is superb."
Paul Bird: "It's been a great week and to take three rostrum finishes from three races is fantastic, especially as it's our first time back at the TT in 12 years. It's a shame we couldn't have ended with a Superbike win in today's Senior but the bike finished and we've taken a first, second and third. I'm chuffed to bits for Ian and for the whole team; they've worked tirelessly and deserve the success they've had.”
Image courtesy of Jon Jessop: Ian Hutchinson from today's PokerStars Senior TT