Dominating a race from start to finish
Dunlop, riding his SC Project Paton, led the race from the start and triumphed by more than twenty seconds over Mike Browne (Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Paton). The Irishman overtook Jamie Coward (KTS Racing powered by Steadplan Kawasaki) after a race that remained exciting until the last second.
Already at Glen Helen during the first lap, Dunlop took control, with a lead of 4.5 seconds (about 7.24 km/h) over Coward. Third place went to Browne, who was just 1.2 seconds back. Peter Hickman (PHR Performance Yamaha) lined up fourth, 0.6 seconds ahead of Josh Brookes (Dafabet Racing Kawasaki), while Stefano Bonetti (Team ILR/Frog Developments Paton) took sixth.
Dunlop extends its lead
Dunlop’s lead had already grown to nine seconds at Ballaugh and increased to 12.9 seconds on the first lap around the Ramsey Hairpin. Coward remained in second place, 1.5 seconds ahead of Browne. From fourth to sixth were now Hickman, Brookes and Michael Rutter (Bathams Racing Yamaha) as Bonetti was eliminated at Douglas Road Corner.
Dunlop posted an impressive first lap time of 121.229 mph (about 195 km/h), giving him a 14.3-second lead over Coward.
Exciting battle for second place
On the second lap, Dunlop passed Coward on the track when his lead at Glen Helen had increased to 19.4 seconds. Coward immediately lined up behind Dunlop.
Browne briefly passed Coward at the bungalow, but only by a margin of 0.2 seconds. Dunlop had the win virtually assured, but the battle for second kept everyone on their toes.
Final lap and Dunlop’s triumph
At the start of the third and final lap, Dunlop had a 21.9-second lead. However, Browne was able to make up 2.1 seconds on Coward with only 37.73 miles (about 60.7 km) to go. Dunlop extended his lead in the final miles, while Coward narrowed his gap to Browne to 1.2 seconds.
Behind the leaders, Hickman, Brookes and Bian maintained their fourth through sixth positions. Although Herbertson continued in seventh, there were changes behind him as Furber moved up to eighth and was well on his way to his best TT result. Rutter had fought his way back up to ninth.
A race to the finish line
By the final crossing of the Ballaugh Bridge, Coward had managed to move back into second place, albeit by the tiny margin of 0.011 seconds. It was clear that it would be a neck-and-neck race to the end, as at Ramsey, Browne again had a 1.2 second advantage.
Browne was able to extend his advantage by another tenth of a second on the streetcar tracks at the Bungalow. While Dunlop crossed the finish line as the winner by 26.7 seconds, Browne was able to secure his first TT podium finish by edging Coward by 2.2 seconds after a titanic battle.
Hickman, Brookes and Bian maintained their fourth through sixth positions, with Brookes setting his best TT result. Herbertson continued in seventh, and it was Rutter who took eighth ahead of Furber, who finished with a career-high ninth, followed by Rob Hodson.
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