TT 2018: Michael Dunlop blitzes Supersport lap record to seal 17th victory
Michael Dunlop obliterated his own lap record as he roared to his 17th Isle of Man TT victory in Monday's opening Monster Energy Supersport race, setting a stunning new benchmark of 129mph.
Dunlop completed a quick-fire double on his MD Racing Honda after his Superbike TT triumph for Tyco BMW on Saturday.
The 29-year-old has now overtaken Ian Hutchinson on the roll of honour and is the third most successful solo rider in the history of the event behind his uncle Joey (26) and John McGuinness (23).
Dunlop won by 10.2 seconds to claim his seventh Supersport TT win from Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki, with Peter Hickman (Trooper Beer Smiths Triumph) edging out James Hillier (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) to seal the final spot on the podium.
Harrison was the early leader at Glen Helen on lap one but there was only one second in it, with Dunlop also making a flying start.
At Ballaugh, the gap was down to 0.2 seconds and the Ulster rider took the lead by the time they reached Ramsey, opening a slight advantage of 0.9 seconds. Hillier was holding third, 8.3 seconds behind.
At the end of the lap, Dunlop’s cushion was now 1.7 seconds after he lapped at 128.265mph from a standing start, with Harrison also over the 128mph mark with a speed of 128.055mph.
Dunlop continued to increase his lead and he was now 4.6 seconds in front at Ramsey as he hunted down the Kawasaki rider on the road, who set off ten seconds ahead of him at number five.
Hickman had moved into third, 18 seconds behind Harrison and four seconds up on Hillier, with Lee Johnston on the Padgetts Honda in fifth.
Dunlop strengthened his grip on the race with a record lap at 129.197mph as he slowed for his pit stop on the PTR Honda, with Harrison also close to the 2013 record as he completed lap two at 128.619mph.
The Ulster rider’s lead was 6.4 seconds at the end of the lap and Dunlop gained more time in the pits, leaving close behind Harrison.
The 29-year-old was now riding in Harrison’s wheel tracks and Dunlop was content to sit behind the Bradford man for the final two laps, having clawed back the ten-second starting deficit.
A battle developed for the final place on the rostrum between Hillier and Hickman, with Hillier narrowly ahead by 1.5 seconds at Glen Helen on the last lap.
However, Hickman turned the screw and he lapped at 128mph on his last lap to secure third, finishing the race only 0.2 seconds behind runner-up Harrison.
Hillier was 1.8 seconds back in fourth, with Manx rider Conor Cummins taking fifth on the Padgetts Honda, 40.9 seconds behind.
Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha), Gary Johnson (Lee Hardy Racing Triumph), Lee Johnston (Padgetts Honda), James Cowton (McAdoo Kawasaki) and Ivan Lintin (Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki), were the first ten.
Derek McGee took 11th on the B&W Site Sealants Kawasaki ahead of newcomer Davey Todd on the Burrows Engineering Racing Honda.
Ian Hutchinson finished 16th on the Padgetts Honda ahead of Adam McLean (McAdoo Kawasaki) and Michael Sweeney from Skerries (MJR Yamaha).