Michael Dunlop took the first victory at this year's Isle of Man Steampacket Company Southern 100 meeting after snatching the lead from long-time leader Guy Martin within sight of the chequered flag.
Martin had led seven of the eight laps but as the leaders approached some backmarkers on the eighth and final tour, Dunlop capitalised at Stadium bend to take victory by 0.121s on the 1000cc Kawasaki. The 23 year old admitted that Martin had set a blistering pace early on and was delighted to have come out on top.
“I made a lunge into stadium and lost the front end and went right out onto the kerb, it was messy but held it to get through. It was a great race and I thought that Guy was away at the start but I just plugged and plugged away.”
Martin was philosophical afterwards despite coming agonizingly close to victory, and refused to blame the final lap traffic for his failure to win.
“Fair play to the boy. He was spot on. I looked back at one point and knew he was there and going into Cross Four-ways we came into some backmarkers on the last lap but no complaints. Proper race.”
The front two were in a class of their own, both lapping at record pace, with Cameron Donald 18 seconds back in third ahead of William Dunlop and Ryan Farquhar, with Dan Kneen narrowly pipping Russ Mountford for sixth. Wayne Hamilton took the honours in the 600cc class, beating Davy Morgan by a couple of seconds.
Elsewhere on the first day of racing, Klaus Klaffenbock & Dan Sayle repeated their TT success in the Vehicle Sourcing Centre Sidecar Race but they were forced to work extremely hard to see off the teams of Simon Neary & Jason Crowe and Ian & Carl Bell, who both finished within a second of the leaders after 15 minutes of road-racing.
Racing continues on Wednesday evening with the Total Oils Senior Race, followed by the 250/650cc Race, the 600cc Race and the 125/400cc Race bringing the evening to a close at 8.45pm.