Last updated: June 13th, 2024

RST at the Isle of Man TT (2024)

The Isle of Man TT is one of the most exhilarating motorcycle races in the world. For 2 weeks each year the island becomes the mecca of motorcycling. This year RST spent race-week out on the island, and it was one for the history books.

Last year's Isle of Man TT was undoubtably one of the best-ever. The weather was as good as it gets on the island; and that mean't perfect practice conditions, all the top riders got in some great track time and the races reflected that with lap-records being constantly set.

2024 therefore had much to live up to.

Ahead of the event there were plenty of storylines to get stuck into. Michael Dunlop, Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison were the main protagonists - as always.

For Dunlop, it was a question of history; could he claim his 26th TT win to tie his uncle Joey as the most successful TT rider in history and would he potentially be able to go even better and become the first rider ever to win 27.

Hickman was always going to be the favourite for the 'big' bike races and in practice week he had looked solid on his BMW, putting in some quick laps while looking very relaxed - very comfortable with the bike after the years of victories.

Harrison by comparison was in unfamiliar surroundings, joining the Honda factory team for 2024. How would he fare on the brand new 2024 fireblade?

For RST riders there were also some major storylines, TT-legend Ian Hutchinson was returning after a year away following his health-related absence in 2023, Jamie Coward was looking to build on an impressive 2023 TT and push further towards a factory-ride, while Dom Herbertson, Paul Jordan and 2023 'RST Star of Tomorrow' Ryan Cringle all looked to continue their progress on the mountain course.

We were also joined for coverage on the island by a couple of our factory riders that weren't racing at this year's event - but whom have both impressed around the 37-mile course; 2019 TT winner Lee Johnston and 2022 Fastest-ever newcomer Glenn Irwin joined us at points throughout the week.


PRACTICE Week

Unfortunately, the first thing to admit about the 2024 TT is the fact the weather was pretty - 'shi..', and practice week: originally scheduled to have 5 full evenings of practice, ended up only having 3. Not ideal.

This mean't it was hard for the riders to get into their stride ahead of race week and also gave very little indication of what the racing might look like. Perhaps adding to the intrigue ahead of race one?

One thing that was clear though: a 4th name was in the conversation for podiums/victories. Former RST-factory rider Davey Todd, had looked very impressive in the supersport class on his Powermate Tools Ducati V2 and was maybe even more impressive in the Superstock and Superbike classes with his TAS Racing Milwaukee Tools BMW.

Would we see a break from the Dunlop/Hicky dominance this year?


Race Week

The race week at the TT runs from Saturday to Saturday culminating in the Senior TT, normally held in solitude at the end of a week's racing.

** We say normally, because due to bad weather throughout race week, we saw a very disrupted schedule, causing one of the Superstock races to be cancelled and a 'Senior Day' that featured 3 races!


Saturday 1st June & Sunday 2nd June

The only 2 days that proceeded as scheduled, the opening weekend got off to great start - some spectacular racing, records being broken, huge pitlane drama and one visor incident that played a major role in the outcome of the weekend's biggest race.

Saturday.
The opening race of the TT this year was the Monster Energy Supersport TT race, ahead of the race all the talk was around Michael Dunlop - not just because he had been quickest in qualifying, but also because he had the opportunity to tie his uncle Joey with 26 TT victories.

The race itself wasn't overly dramatic - Dunlop's dominance was only in doubt for fleeting moments when it looked like Davey Todd might be able to will his Ducati to a huge upset, but those thoughts were killed off almost as soon as imagined every time Michael Dunlop came through a checkpoint.

At the finish, Dunlop was 8-seconds clear of Davey, with Dean Harrison a further 23-seconds back. Somewhat of a procession in the end, but at least Michael had the monkey off his back, he'd tied the all-time record and could move on to target breaking it. Maybe the biggest shock in the final results was Hicky, never his strongest class on the smaller bikes - but a 9th place finish was well below his standards and expectations on the mountain course.

Paul Jordan was RST's best-finisher with a P7, just 1-second ahead of Mike Browne.

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Once the solo's had called it a day it was the turn of the 3-wheelers. Race 2 was the 3wheeling.media Sidecars Race.

Some intriguing storylines for this year in the sidecars included the retirement of Tom Birchall, meaning a new team-mate for Ben in the form of Kevin Rousseau - how would this new pairing get on? Could manx duo Ryan and Callum Crowe take advantage and get their first TT win? And how would last years runners-up Peter Founds and Jevan Walmsley on the FHO Honda go?

With the Birchall-brothers no longer a thing, the question of who would step up and replace them as the 'team to beat' needed to be answered. It didn't take long to get our answer, by the end of lap one the Crowe brothers were in control, pushing 120-mph lap times (ending just under at 118.6mph).

In a race that saw Birchall & Rousseau not take the start, the Crowe's showed their talent to take their first ever victory at the TT, bringing their Honda LCR sidecar home 36 seconds clear of the Founds/Warmsley duo.

It was a huge victory for the Crowe brothers and it was great to see another RST-sponsored team step up and take over from the Birchalls.

This was to be RST's first of 4 podiums during race-week and the first of 2 victories.

Sunday.
For Sunday, it was all about the Superbikes - the RST Superbike race. Last year's race saw Michael Dunlop take victory, and a repeat would have meant history - it would have given him his 27th TT win and officially anointed him as the greatest TT rider of all-time.

The other contenders had a familiar vibe, with Hickman and Dean Harrison expected to challenge. Elsewhere, the likes of James Hillier, John McGuinness and Jamie Coward had hopes of podiums should any of the 'Big 3' run into issues.

Once the race got started 2 storylines became very clear, firstly Dunlop was on it! Michael set off at blistering pace and was comfortably up by the end of the first lap. Secondly, Davey Todd on his BMW was a serious threat to the 'Big 3' - at the end of lap 2 he was 2nd, and the only real contender to Dunlop, although Michael still looked in control at the front. Hicky and Harrison, were by comparison miles off it.

So, as the race settled down after a pretty safe set of pitstops at the end of lap 2 it looked like we were witnessing history, Dunlop roared towards his 27th victory amassing a more than 20-second advantage over Davey Todd by the time the second-round of stops took place at the end of the 4th lap.

Harrison and Hicky, around 30 seconds back from Dunlop at this stage were separated by almost 4-seconds, with Harrison looking like he may edge Hicky for the final podium spot.

Then everything changed...

Dunlop's pitstop looked to have gone fine, only for something to look abit odd as the northern irishman headed out of the pitlane. His helmet's side-pod was flapping around and by the time he was heading down Bray Hill - his visor had come loose, meaning that in an astonishing moment in TT history, he had to pull to one side, stop the bike, remove his gloves & helmet and put the visor back in, before re-fitting the side-pod, getting his gloves back on and restarting his race.

The cost? More than 45-seconds lost, and P1 to P4.

Davey Todd leading the field then? Not exactly. Turns out Dunlop wasn't the only one to have issues at the second stop. Todd's pitstop was all good and there was no visor issues (he wears the same helmet as Dunlop), however as he hit the bike on-switch: it wouldn't go. As his mechanic frantically pushed his bike down pitlane to try and get it started, an agonising 20-seconds were lost and with it P1 went.

Who was there to pick up the pieces? Peter Hickman.

The big man has a knack of finding ways to win these big bike races at the TT and this turned out to be another one, as he left the pitlane from his 2nd stop he had past Harrison, and following Dunlop and Davey's issues found himself leading the race: 6-seconds ahead of Davey and 20-seconds ahead of Micheal, Dean Harrison sandwiched in the middle in P3.

Dunlop proceeded to set lap record pace on the final lap, although it wasn't enough to make up for the time lost and he only finished 4th.

The podium saw Harrison take 3rd, Davey grab another podium with P2 and Hicky finding himself on the top step of a superbike race yet again.

All of the talk after the race was around Michael and how he was robbed of his historic moment. However, Hickman summed it up best in the post-race interview - "This is an endurance race, in order to finish first, first you have to finish".

This race ended up being the truest demonstration of the external factors that can influence a race at the TT, whether that be weather, mechanical issues or human-error, no one man can win the race - the team has to play it's part and a certain level of fortune has be involved. For Hicky, he had a huge share of the fortune: Michael and Davey, not so much.

For our RST-factory riders, the best finisher was Jamie Coward in P7, with Mike Browne not far behind in 8th.


Wednesday 5th June and Thursday 6th June

Wednesday.
Following a rest day on Monday, Tuesday was the first day to be hit by the weather as rain mean't no racing took place, due to this - the knock on effect was that the superstock and the supertwin races were moved to Wednesday.

The Metzeler Supertwin was up first and as the clouds started to close-in things got underway. Again, the magnitude of the race centred around Dunlop and his 27th victory. On-board his Paton S1-R he was always going to be the man to beat.

With just 3 laps slated for the race, there would be no visor changes needed this time and no denying him his moment. He was the only man in the race to break the 120mph lap speed, and took win number 27 with a 21-second margin over his regular rival Peter Hickman.

Hicky, riding his Swan Racing sponsored Yamaha R7 (a truly striking livery), almost riding in his own race for 2nd place, well off Dunlop, but comfortably ahead of third: looked confident throughout and seemed to have a big influence on the eventual 3rd place finisher.

The real 'race' in the supertwin race was for the final podium spot and it was between 3 RST-factory riders. Jamie Coward, Mike Browne and Dom Herbertson. All three had stand out performances at the 2023 TT and all three had hopes of competing for honours this year.

The trio were all on differing machinery, Coward on a Kawasaki Z650, Dom on his Paton S1-R and Browne riding the Aprilia RS 660. Midway through the 2nd lap it was all to play for, with all 3 in the hunt - Dom was leading from Jamie, and Mike in 5th place. When they exited the pit after lap 1, there was a key factor in this race. Dom had come out on the road behind Hicky, and as Peter pushed to catch Michael, Dom followed: putting in the fastest laps he has ever done on a supertwin around the island. Meanwhile, Mike unfortunately had to ease off to nurse his Aprilia to the finish. This meant the last lap was a straight shoot-out between Dom and Jamie Coward (Jamie who got a podium in the Supertwin's in 2023).

As they headed up the mountain, Dom still hanging onto the back of Hicky's R7 and putting in the ride of his life - he managed to pull out a few seconds gap and as Jamie found traffic in front of him heading down Hillberry his chances of catching Dom vanished.

It was to be a first-ever TT podium for the man from Hexham and to say it was an emotional one was an understatement.

For anyone who knows Dom, you'd know he's quite the talker - so to see him lost for words in the winners enclosure truly spoke volumes to what this means to him, those around him and many in the motorcycle community. Congrats Dom!

As for the rest of the days racing.... the rain put an end to that.

Thursday.
Despite rain delays, two races were scheduled to go ahead on Thursday - the second 3wheeling.media sidecar race and the first superstock race.

For the sidecars, the main subplot was the return of the Birchall/Rousseau duo, and whether Ben Birchall could bring all that knowledge and winning experience to catch the Crowe brothers at the front of the pack.

As the race got underway it was obvious to see that those two duo's were going to be leading the way, and by the end of lap one they were a long way clear of the Founds/Warmsley and Molyneux/Roberts pairings.

By the time the Crowe's reached the mountain on the 2nd lap they had pulled out a 20-second lead over the Birchall/Rousseau duo, and were well on their way to a 2nd successive victory.

Unfortunately, as the Crowe's came past the victory cafe atop the mountain, news came through of an incident causing for the red flags to wave and the racing to come to an end.

Once the incident had been cleared (thankfully all riders were ok) - the race was called and the Crowe's had taken their 2nd victory in a week on the mountain course. Another great result for the RST sponsored pair.

With the sidecars done, it was time to turn attention to the solo's for the remainder of the week.

Up first was the RL360 Superstock Race, the 2nd 'Big' bike race of the week.

Over the last few years Peter Hickman had been pretty dominant in the big bike classes, taking 11 victories since 2018 on 1000cc+ machines - including the most recent: this year's RST superbike race.

This mean't it was pretty obvious who the pre-race favourite was.

In what turned out to be probably the most tightly contested race at this year's TT, we saw a straight out fight between Hicky and Davey Todd - who rode the wheels off his TAS Racing Milwaukee BMW to find himself P1 at Glen Helen on lap one, putting in the fastest-ever sector on a stocker in the history of the TT.

Despite this, he was only 2-seconds clear of Hickman by the time they got to the mountain and this is where Peter is always at his best. Remarkably, pulling back 4-seconds over the mountain, Hicky arrived at Glencrutchery Road for the home-straight having taken the lead by just over a second.

That lead didn't last long though, as Todd hit the Glen Helen marker the 2nd time round: he was back in the lead, this time by nearly 4-seconds! And, so it went on for the next 2 laps - Davey would pull out a lead through the early part of the lap and Hicky would close the gap over the mountain.

As Davey crossed the finish line for the final time - the last timing marker had shown Hicky starting the mountain climb 2.5 seconds behind. Given the times he had been putting in during the previous laps it looked like we were going to have a 'photo-finish'.

What we hadn't anticipated though was that Davey had actually smashed the mountain section on his final lap with his fastest time of the race and as Peter went over the finish line it was still a 2.1 second margin in favour of the rider from Saltburn-by-the-sea.

This mean't that for the first-time since 2022, Hicky had been beaten on a stocker and gave Davey his first-ever TT win: a massive achievement and incredible performance.

Jamie Coward was the best-finishing RST-factory rider - bringing his Honda Fireblade back P6. He was 1 of a quartet of RST riders inside the top-10, Conor Cummins P8, Dom Herbertson P9 and Mike Browne P10.


Friday 7th June & Saturday 8th JuNE

Friday.
Following virtually constant rain on Friday, all racing on Friday was postponed, with the 2nd Superstock race having to be cancelled all together as there was no time it could fit into the revised schedule for Saturday.

Saturday.
The schedule for Saturday, normally reserved for just the Senior TT was therefore jam-packed with racing. 3 races were to go ahead throughout the day, the Monster Energy Supersport Race 2 was up first, followed by the Entire Cover insurance Supertwin race and ending with the Milwaukee Senior TT in the early evening.

For the Supersport race, Dunlop's dominance in race 1 and throughout practice week meant a 28th TT-victory seemed in the offing to start the day.

Due to the compressed schedule - all 3 races on Saturday were reduced, with the Supersport and Supertwin both reduced to 2 laps and the Senior TT reduced to 4 laps.

This meant no pitstops for the opening 2 races and only 1 in the Senior. Given the issues earlier in the week, this was likely a relief to Dunlop who set off down Bray Hill on his Yamaha R6 with designs on his 28th TT victory.

By the time we next saw him flash past the grandstand he was 3-seconds clear of Dean Harrison on the Honda, who was a further 2.5 seconds ahead of Davey Todd and his V2 Ducati. The final lap of the race was rather uneventful as Michael was able to manage the gap en-route to his 28th victory, his 2nd Supersport victory of the week and further evidence of his crown as the GOAT.

Dunlop's dominance in the Supersport mean't that there was a further plot line emerging - he was on 28 victories, with 2 more races to go: in all likelihood Michael will become the first man to ever win 30 TT's, but the question was could he take a clean-sweep of the Saturday races and leave 2024 as the first man to ever reach that milestone.

His prowess on the supertwin's made this scenario more likely and had expectations for the Senior TT building: but he did need to win the supertwin first, and given the reliability issues associated with the twins, this was no certainty. The reduced race distance somewhat alleviated the strain on the bikes, but it is still more than 75 miles to complete 2 laps of the TT.

As soon as the racing got started the front 2 looked pretty familiar and the race had a striking resemblance to the first supertwin race, with Dunlop flat-out at the front, Hickman trying his best to stay in touching distance and a battle for P3 - again involving a bunch of RST factory riders. This time it was Mike Browne taking the final podium spot from Dom Herbertson in 4th and Paul Jordan taking 5th.

For Dunlop and Hickman at the front they were both comfortable, Dunlop unchallenged at the top, finishing 6-seconds clear of Hicky and for Pete, he took the checkered flag 8-seconds ahead of Mike Browne.

Browne's P3 was RST's 4th podium finish of the week and the 2nd in the Supertwins class.


A matter of 'senior'ity

And so, all eyes turned to the Senior, the showpiece of the week - Could Hicky make it 3 in a row, would Dunlop make it 30 TT victories (and win 5 in a week, first to do it since Hutchy) or would we see that dominance broken? Harrison and Hillier had all been solid all week, while Davey Todd had looked like the breakout star of the TT - could he add to his first-ever TT win in the superstock by ending the week with a Senior triumph?

As mentioned above, Hickman's dominance of the big bike classes over recent years meant that everyone else had a mountainous task on their hands, both metaphorically and literally in the case of the TT course.

It was TT legend John McGuinness who headed off No.1 and his teammate Dean Harrison at No.3 who was the first true contender for the crown, Jamie Coward withdrawing from second on the start grid had given Dean a real target to chase down in front of him. The other main contenders set off at 6 (Dunlop), 8 (Todd) and 10 (Hickman).

The first marker at Glen Helen flagged up with Hicky leading the way from Davey - both of whom had set off at record-setting speed, Dunlop was in third and Dean P4. The margins were fine though and Davey was having the ride of his life to stick with Hickman.

As they headed round lap 2 the first protagonist succumbed as Michael Dunlop's Fireblade gave up the ghost just past the bungalow, the mountain course claiming another bike and ending Dunlop's dreams of 30 TT-wins (we suspect this may only be on hold until 2025).

The pace at the front was still blistering, with Davey matching lap-record pace - keeping his BMW right on the edge of the limit without overstepping the mark, it was looking like a truly sublime ride from the 28-year-old.

Yet it still wasn't enough, Peter Hickman was flying. Pushing his FHO machine to the absolute brink, he was circulating at a pace more than 4-seconds under lap record pace - showing an unerring grit, and willingness to risk everything to claim his 3rd straight Senior TT victory.

However, like the cautionary tale of Icarus - if you fly too close to the sun you will get burned and as Hicky headed round Ginger Hall the front tucked and both man & machine headed towards the crash barriers. A scary sight for all viewers as the rider and bike bounced from the wall and back into the road - thankfully Pete was quickly up on his feet (later reporting just bumps and bruises). Hicky must certainly had his lucky pants on to walk away from a crash like that, and James Hillier demonstrated his riding skills expertly managing to avoid both rider and bike - despite following very closely behind.

That spelled the end for Hicky's race, and handed the lead to Davey. As Todd reached the pitstop at the end of lap 2 he would have known his 2 biggest challengers were both out of the race and he had a 20-second lead over Josh Brookes - who had clawed his way up to 2nd.

The final 2 laps were all about control, could he control the emotions, could he nurse the bike to the finish and could he control the gap between him and Josh (who was pushing throughout). To be honest, it was abit of a masterclass for the last 2 laps - Davey did exactly what he needed to, it was an incredibly mature ride and showed the progress he has made this year.

The 2024 TT was notable for many things: bad weather, rain delays, a new king of the mountain and maybe, just maybe a changing of the guard. Davey was for many, the rider of the fortnight and to end it with his first Senior TT victory was just reward for how impressive he'd been.

Bring on 2025!


Star of tomorrow

Every year RST awards our 'Star of tomorrow' to the newcomer we deem to have the best performance over the course of the TT. The prize has become an annual pre-cursor to the Senior TT, and is presented on the grid pre-race. The winner of the award wins sponsorship from the brand for the following season.

2023's winner was Manxman Ryan Cringle and he was on hand to present the 2024 award with our VP Stuart Millington to Loris Majcan - the 28 year-old Croatian who had been the undoubted star of the 2024 newcomers.

Congratulations to Loris on the award, and we look forward to being a part of his journey for 2025 and beyond.

#TeamRST


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Written by

Christopher Impey

A motorcycle rider and enthusiast; as the digital editor for RST, Chris is responsible for creating compelling copy and captivating digital experiences.