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Michael Dunlop admits he needs a big display to close gap on Peter Hickman ahead of TT’s headline race


Michael Dunlop is targeting further TT glory on the Isle of Man today

Michael Dunlop is targeting further TT glory on the Isle of Man today

Dave Kneen/ManxPhotosOnline.com

Michael Dunlop is targeting further TT glory on the Isle of Man today

The 2022 Isle of Man TT reaches a climax today with the headline Milwaukee Senior race, when Michael Dunlop leads the Northern Ireland charge on the Hawk Suzuki.

Dunlop finished on the rostrum in third in last Saturday’s RST Superbike race behind Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison.

However, the Ballymoney rider was almost one minute down on race winner Hickman after six laps and admitted that he will have to raise his game to close the deficit.

“I just hadn’t got anything to come to the table with,” Dunlop said.

“Steve (Hicken, team principal) pulled something out of the bag and it definitely helped me. We just need to improve on that.”

Today’s Senior race has been reduced from six laps to four as part of a revised schedule to accommodate this morning’s second Monster Energy Supersport race, which was called off yesterday because of poor weather on the island.

Dunlop notched up his 20th TT win in the first Supersport race on Monday and will go into today’s two-lap encounter on his MD Racing Yamaha as the favourite to complete a double.

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Yorkshireman Harrison is likely to provide his main opposition, although Davey Todd (Milenco by Padgett’s Honda) will be eager to make amends after he was left disappointed with eighth position in the first race.

The 26-year-old said the rear Dunlop tyre issue that forced him out of a potential podium place in the Superbike race was playing on his mind, but Todd bounced back to claim his first TT rostrum with a strong ride to third in the Superstock race.

Hickman has already won three races after his Superbike, Superstock and Supertwin victories, and the 35-year-old is the clear favourite Senior glory.

He will also have a chance to emulate Ian Hutchinson’s historic five-timer today when he lines up on the Trooper Beer Triumph.

“It’d be nice to get five in a week, don’t get me wrong, but we were here to try and do six and that didn’t quite happen,” he said.

“I’m not necessarily thinking about the five, I just want to try and win every race that I enter.”

Lee Johnston, fourth in the Supersport opener after losing up to eight seconds during his pit-stop, will be fired up to at least challenge for the rostrum.

Fellow Northern Ireland rider Paul Jordan will also be bidding for a high top-10 finish after he was hit by a 30-second penalty in the first Supersport race for speeding in pitlane.

Jordan — who survived a frightening moment in practice week when he was hit on the front of his helmet by a bird — claimed his first TT podium in Wednesday’s Supertwin race.

“I was going down Sulby Straight and was tucked in behind another rider,” explained Jordan.

“He ducked the bird and the bird came straight through the visor of my helmet.

“Now I’m left with two shiners.”

The second Sidecar race also takes place today.

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