Favourite leads way

Hot favourite John McGuinness led from start to finish to win the Bennetts Superbike TT, the opening race at the Centenary Isle of Man Festival.

Hot favourite John McGuinness led from start to finish to win the Bennetts Superbike TT, the opening race at the Centenary Isle of Man Festival.

The Morecambe rider showed his class to triumph on his HM Plant Honda by 26 seconds from Hydrex Honda's Guy Martin, with Ian Hutchinson on a HM Plant Honda in third, one minute and six seconds off the pace.

The 34-year-old McGuinness, the outright lap record holder, set off third on the grid but quickly took the lead on the first lap, with Martin his closest challenger and Hutchinson settling down in third place.

McGuinness' lead was 4.51 seconds after the first lap, and he extended this to 11secs by setting a new Superbike lap record on lap two of 128.041mph. Martin gained some time back at the start of lap five but the Kirmington rider was never going to be able to claw back enough to make a real difference.

And McGuinness cruised home with a final lap time of 17mins 53secs to record a winning time of one hour 48.11secs - at an average speed of 125.550mph.

Martin Finnegan claimed fourth place, 1:24 behind the winner, with Ian Lougher fifth (2:23 behind) and Ryan Farquhar in sixth (2:43 behind).

The race was initially postponed for a couple of hours from its 10.45am start time because of poor visibility in the mountain section and a little bit of rain in the air.

But McGuinness kept his nerve to make it 12 victories in total on the island.

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