MICHAEL Dunlop nabbed victory in the first of two Monster Energy Supersport Races today after weather and adverse conditions delayed the initial programme.
The Ballymoney man fought with disappearing act James Hillier on the opening lap, grabbing the lead as they hit Ballaugh, but the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider snatched it back over the mountain and led Dunlop by just under 0.4 seconds when they crossed the line.
Dunlop wasn’t faltered, however, and he powered his MD Racing Yamaha R6 back into the lead, pulling out nearly 2.5 seconds over Hillier when everyone hit the pits at the end of the second lap, with brother William almost 16 seconds in arrears.
A delayed fuel stop meant Dunlop lost five seconds to Hillier as the leaders exited the pits, leaving it all to do again with two laps remaining, but the 13-time TT winner set a searing pace into Glen Helen and already had the lead back by nearly two seconds.
Two seconds became 6.5 seconds as the crossed the line to begin the final lap, as the Triumph 675 of Peter Hickman began clawing back time a further 22 adrift.
And Dunlop continued his onslaught by stretching a gap all the way to the chequered flag to take a dominant race victory by 13 seconds over Hillier, with Peter Hickman rounding out the rostrum for his second TT podium.
“The boys worked as hard as they could today,” Dunlop said, “and we were disappointed after yesterday. But it’s great to get a Supersport win again after a few years.”
Retirements included Dean Harrison, Davy Morgan, Michael Russell, Rob Hodson, Phil Crowe and Jamie Coward.
Provisional RST Superbike TT results
- Michael Dunlop
- James Hillier
- Peter Hickman
- William Dunlop
- Ian Hutchinson
- Gary Johnson
- Bruce Anstey
- Dan Kneen
- Conor Cummins
- James Cowton
*Image: Isle of Man TT