Michael Dunlop takes 25th TT victory and shatters 130mph barrier in sensational Supersport Race 2.

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Michael Dunlop took his 25th TT win and; with a stunning final lap burst; became the first Supersport rider to break through the 130mph barrier. He was pushed to it by Peter Hickman; who also broke that barrier on his final lap. On another sun drenched afternoon in the Isle of Man the large crowds were treated to some spectacular action.

The inside of the exit to Parliament square was the vantage point. This corner is much faster than it once was due to changes to the pavement and removal of some trackside furniture. The state of the road in the square is not the best; but has been ignored for many years. The race itself was virtually a carbon copy of race one; with the top three finishing in the same order; but this time ripping up the record book.

Mike Browne’s chance of a top 6 finish was over on the start line; his steering damper broke; leaving him to have a “steady tour.” Nine miles into the first lap the first timing beam showed that Michael Dunlop (MD Racing Yamaha) had been quickest of all; he led Dean Harrison (Russell Racing Yamaha) by just 0.11s. Peter Hickman was third on his Trooper Beer Triumph. Davey Todd (Milenco Padgett Honda); James Hillier (Russell Racing Yamaha) and Craig Neve (Batham’s Triumph) completed the top 6. At Ballaugh; the best sector time allowed Dunlop to extend his lead to 2.685s. Harrison was just 0.877s down in third. Jamie Coward (KTS Yamaha) was rapid in the sector and had claimed sixth.

Dean Harrison was the first into the square; he was bang on the ideal line and very fast. Davo Johnson (Jackson Honda) was next then; Jamie Coward and Paul Jordan (Prez Yamaha). Then the race leader, closely followed by James Hillier; whose race ended ¼ mile away at White Gates. The action was excellent for the crowd with a few nice wheelies and some running a tad wide after missing their braking point. Dunlop was leading by 5.2s as he powered “the wee girl” away towards the mountain climb. Hickman was sticking to Harrison; only 0.76s separated them. Todd was 4th; Coward up to 5th and rising young star James Hind (Bass Yamaha) sixth.

An opening lap at 128.809mph gave Dunlop a lead of 6.692s from Harrison (127.997mph). The mountain is normally Hickman’s strongest area; not today; he was 2.44s down as he crossed the line. Todd, Coward and Hind held station. Jordan, Neve, Rob Hodson (SMT Yamaha) and Dom Herbertson (Dafabet Yamaha) completed the top 10.

Dunlop was fastest to Glen Helen and Ballaugh; where the lead was 11.36s. Hickman was second quickest in each sector and had cut his gap to Harrison down to 1.43s. Coward was raising his pace and had displaced Todd to take 4th. Hickman was fastest on the 7 miles to Ramsey, and he now held second place 12.56s behind Dunlop; 1.41s ahead of Harrison.

A lap at 129.089mph gave Dunlop a lead of 11.636s from Hickman (128.378mph); with Harrison (128.347mph) 5.49s further back. In the battle or 4th, Todd had edged back ahead of Coward. Most pit stops were around the 50s mark; Dean Harrison’s was slow and cost him 5s. At Glen Helen, Dunlop led by 11.84s; Harrison was now 11.48s adrift of Hickman. Todd, Coward and Hind completed the top 6. Hickman was fastest in the run to Ramsey; Todd was right behind and using the tow to distance himself from Coward. Dunlop’s lead was 10.2s at White Gates. Hickman was fastest on the mountain climb; Todd second fastest as he benefited from the tow.

Starting the final lap Dunlop led by 8.15s; Harrison was 20.61s down in third; Todd had closed his gap to Harrison down to 3.76s. Hickman was on lap record pace at Glen Helen; he set a new sector record; however, Dunlop’s signallers had made him aware of the threat posed by Hickman and Michael had upped his pace to also average over 135mph on the first 9 miles. Dunlop set a sector record to Ballaugh; Hickman just 0.4s slower. Another sector record saw Dunlop’s lead up to 9.46s as they left us to climb the mountain for the final time; both well inside the old lap record.

Dunlop was the fastest by 2s on the Bungalow sector; Hickman was 0.4s faster on the drop to Cronk ny Mona; but it was Harrison who set a new record on this sector.

An amazing final lap at 130.403mph gave Dunlop victory by 9.617s from Hickman; whose last lap was at 130.219mph. Dean Harrison repelled the challenge from Todd with the aid of a lap at 129.697mph; also inside the old lap record. The race record was blown into the weeds; Dunlop’s average was 127.831mph; Hickman’s 127.542mph and Harrison’s 126.804mph.

Davey Todd; Jamie Coward; James Hind; Paul Jordan, Craig Neve, Davo Johnson and Dom Herbertson completed the top 10 in what was a sensational race. Mike Browne did remarkably well to finish 12th with no steering damper. Local newcomer Ryan Cringle put in a superb performance; he finished 18th at 118.975mph.

With 3 races left; for one of which he is the strong odds on favourite; it seems certain that Michael Dunlop will equal his uncle Joey’s record tally of 26 wins and he could go clear at the top of the list of the greats of the TT.