Michael Dunlop wins 19th Isle of Man TT race to take family total to 50 victories
Michael Dunlop has won his 19th Isle of Man TT race to take the family's total to 50 TT victories.
The 30-year-old edged out Jamie Coward by just 1.299 seconds to win the two-lap Supertwin race on Thursday evening.
It's a success that adds to Michael's late father Robert's five victories and uncle Joey's 26 to reach a huge landmark for the Dunlop family.
“I didn’t think I was ever going to get in here again," he said after securing what was his first podium of this year's TT. "It’s been a very hard week for me and I think I’ve been struggling with a lack of track time and the injury’s not good either.
“This bike was probably going to be a bit easier on me and I could’ve done with the four laps to sink into a bit more. Once again the Paton guys have done everything they could and it was a hard race.
Dunlop was on top at the off, racing into a 2.6 second lead from Coward at Glen Helen on the first lap. The eventual runner-up wasn't going to make it easy, though, cutting the advantage to just 0.262 seconds at Bungalow and continuing that resurgence to go 0.748 seconds ahead at the end of the opening lap.
It was at Ramsey that Dunlop put the winning stamp on the race, going into a 1.4 second lead and holding out for the victory by clocking a 122.75mph lap - very close to his Lightweight lap record.
Dunlop's fellow Northern Irishman Lee Johnston came in third, adding to his Monday Supersport victory, and he was followed by another Ulsterman Paul Jordan, securing fourth for his best ever finish at the TT.
Dunlop's win came after Peter Hickman had completed his hat-trick for the week, adding Supersport and Superstock success to his win in Monday's opening Superbike race.
It's Hickman, therefore, that will go into Friday morning's Senior TT as the favourite.
In the evening's final race, Michael Rutter won the single-lap SES TT Zero race, clocking a new lap record of 121.91mph. Rutter has never lost a TT Zero.
1. Michael Dunlop
2. Jamie Coward +1.299
3. Lee Johnston +22.691
4. Paul Jordan +5.275
5. Michael Rutter +4.941
6. Stefano Bonetti +3.004
SES TT Zero results
1. Michael Rutter
2. John McGuinness +8.566
Belfast Telegraph Digital