Michael Dunlop secured his third victory of the 2018 Isle of Man TT by smashing both lap and speed records in the Lightweight TT race.
The 29-year-old put in a blistering lap at 122.750mph, breaking James Hillier’s previous record of 120.848mph, and finished 14.6 seconds ahead of an impressive Derek McGee who took his first TT podium in second.
Veteran rider Michael Dunlop took the final podium spot on his Paton machine, with Stefano Bonetti, Joey Thompson and Ian Lougher rounding out the top six.
Ivan Lintin had led almost two laps of the race on the Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki when he retired with mechanical problems at Bedstead.
It was a blistering start to the race as Dunlop, Lintin and McGee were all inside Hiller’s three-year-old lap record. It was Lintin who had the lead though, with a 6.8-second advantage over his rivals.
Disaster would strike towards the end of the second lap as he was forced to retire. Dunlop took advantage immediately, with a new lap record of 122.750mph and a lead of 14.6 seconds over McGee and Rutter.
There was a change after the pit stop with McGee’s team doing a great job on the fuel and he led Dunlop by 3.1 seconds at Glen Helen on lap three. There were changes down the order too, with James Cowton going out at Crosby and Peter Hickman making it two KMR Kawasaki’s in the top three as he overhauled Rutter.
Dunlop would fight back quickly to take a 1.2 second lead as he went through Ramsey. McGee would respond to reduce the gap to just 0.5 seconds at the Bungalow. Behind the leaders Hickman extended his lead over Rutter to over 10 seconds.
Going into the fourth and final lap and Dunlop had responded with the margin to McGee having crept out again to 1.6 seconds and the Ulsterman kept focused to take his 18th career victory at the TT. Hickman would retire at Union Mills, allowing Rutter back into third to take his 17th TT podium.
Dunlop has now won the Superbike, Supersport and Lightweight TT race wins at this year’s event. Dunlop does have the chance to win a fourth race in one TT week on Friday, in the Senior TT race. Dunlop has achieved this milestone twice before, in 2013 and 2014.