Michael Dunlop secured his second win of the 2018 Isle of Man TT after smashing the lap record on his way to victory in the first Supersport race of the event.
Dunlop dominated from start-to-finish, ending the race over 10 seconds clear of Dean Harrison in second. On his way to victory, his 17th TT win overall, Dunlop smashed his own lap record from 2013 – recording an average speed of 129.197mph on the second lap.
Peter Hickman completed the podium on his Smiths Trooper Triumph machine, ahead of James Hillier in fourth and Conor Cummins in fifth. Josh Brookes was next on the Monster McAMS Yamaha, followed by Gary Johnson (seventh), Lee Johnston (eighth), James Cowton (ninth) and Ivan Lintin in 10th spot.
It was Harrison who led the race as the riders went through Glen Helen for the first time, just one second clear of Dunlop who had another two-second advantage over Hillier in third. Hickman, Gary Johnson and Johnston rounded out the top six.
The gap between the leading duo was reduced to just 0.2 seconds by the time they reached Ballaugh. Dunlop would then take the lead of the race and held a one-second advantage over Harrison at Ramsey Hairpin. Hillier was now eight seconds adrift in third with Hickman still in fourth, but only 0.2 seconds behind.
Hickman had passed and opened up a 2.5 second lead over Hillier as they crossed the line to complete the opening lap. At the front, Dunlop’s lead was now 1.7 seconds after posting a lap at 128.25mph.
The duo continued to pull away from Hickman on lap two and were 14.2 seconds clear at Glen Helen. Dunlop would add another second to his lead on the run to Ballaugh and as he came into the pits it was confirmed that he had smashed a five-year lap record – posting a speed of 129.197mph to extend his lead to 6.4 seconds.
Despite falling away from the leader, Harrison was comfortable in second thanks to a 22.7 second lead over Hickman. The fight for third wasn’t finished though, with Hickman only 3.6 seconds ahead of Hillier who, in turn, was only three seconds ahead of Johnston.
A superb pit stop for Hillier meant he was only 0.2 seconds a behind Hickman at Glen Helen on lap three and over 10 seconds clear of Johnston. By the time they reached Ballaugh, Hillier had taken over third from Hickman albeit by 0.6 seconds but this had doubled to 1.2 seconds by Ramsey.
Going into the final lap, Dunlop and Harrison were now together on the road with the official gap being 9.4 seconds. Behind them, the gap between Hillier and Hickman now stood at 1.5 seconds. Cummins was a further 19.2 seconds back in fifth with Johnston continuing to hold onto sixth.
Dunlop and Harrison would circulate the Mountain Course together on the final lap, crossing the line to take first and second respectively. The fight for third carried on, with Hickman closing the gap at Ballaugh to just 0.098 seconds, before eventually overtaking his rival to take the final podium position.
Shortly after the conclusion of the race TT organisers ACU Events Ltd confirmed that newcomer Adam Lyon had been involved in a fatal accident at Casey’s.
Everybody at The Checkered Flag sends our deepest condolences to Adam Lyon’s family and friends.