Michael Dunlop notched up his second win of TT 2018 on Monday morning, taking victory in the Monster Energy Supersport Race One.
Dunlop’s 17th TT win on his own MD Racing 600 Honda was a hard-fought one, the 29-year-old enjoying a race-long battle with the in-from Dean Harrison.
Dunlop’s winning margin on corrected time was 10.27s in stark contrast to the near-minute advantage he enjoyed on his way to the win in Saturday’s Superbike race.
Similarly to that race, however, Dunlop and Kawasaki-mounted Harrison were into their stride from the off the pair separated by less than two seconds at the end of the opening lap.
Dunlop went even quicker on the second lap, lapping at 129.197mph (17min 31.328sec) to lower the previous record he set in 2013 by four seconds.
Dunlop gradually built his lead as he caught Harrison on the road after the pit stops at the end of lap two, managing the winning margin of nearly 10 seconds for the final two laps.
Peter Hickman produced a flying last lap of 128.181mph to pip James Hillier to the third and final podium place on his Trooper Triumph by Smiths Racing. Hickman’s impressive last lap closed him to within 0.258s of Harrison at the finish, despite being slowed down on the Mountain as an incident was cleared on the Verandah.
After the race a delighted Dunlop who moves joint third on the all-time list of TT winners with Dave Molyneux said: ’Everything was perfect - fantastic, really fantastic.
’Thanks to everyone in the team and my sponsors. The bike never missed a beat.’
Ominously for his rivals ahead of Wednesday’s second Supersport race Dunlop added: ’I genuinely think I could a 130mph lap on this bike.
’I think I could make a couple of tweaks to make the bike a bit quicker. The pace is fast, but I felt good. Everything’s hunky dory.’
Behind the top three, Hillier was edged into fourth by the fast-finishing Hickman, with Conor Cummins and Josh Brookes completing the top six.
Full report in Thursday’s TT News.