Michael Dunlop leaves his mark on the Isle of Man TT Races 2023 by breaking the race record and taking his 23rd win in the RST Superbike race, making him the second most successful TT rider of all time.

Dunlop’s triumph at the 2023 Isle of Man TT Races.

In Sunday’s afternoon race at the Isle of Man TT Races 2023, Michael Dunlop continued his winning run.  He broke the race record to finish nearly a minute ahead in the RST Superbike race, marking his 23rd win overall.  This tied him with John McGuinness to become the second most successful TT rider of all time.

Dunlop dominated the race from the start on his Hawk Racing Honda, winning by a margin of 8.2 seconds.  Peter Hickman on his Monster Energy by FHO Racing BMW narrowly missed setting a new overall lap record with a speed of 135.445mph (218.18 km/h) on his final lap.  Dean Harrison on the DAO Racing Kawasaki again finished third.


The race in detail: First lap

Dunlop was already able to take the lead on the first section after Glen Helen.  With only a 0.145-second lead over Harrison and Davey Todd on the Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles Honda, who was 1.2 seconds behind, the contest was close.  Hickman, who had problems with his quickshifter, placed just behind Todd in fourth, followed by James Hillier on the OMG Racing Yamaha and John McGuinness on the Honda Racing.

By Ballaugh, Dunlop had extended his lead to 3.1 seconds.  By the time they reached Ramsey, Dunlop had increased his lead to 4.5 seconds and Hickman had passed Todd for third.


Dunlop pulls away: second lap and pit stop

With an impressive opening lap of 134.519mph (216.49 km/h), Dunlop led the field.  After the first lap, Dunlop was 6.2 seconds ahead of Harrison and Hickman just half a second behind Todd. Hillier, who posted the fastest Yamaha lap to date on the Mountain Course at over 132mph (212.43 km/h), retained fifth place.

During the second run through Glen Helen, Dunlop continued to increase his lead.  His speed suggested he could set a new lap record.  At Ramsey, the lead was already 10.1 seconds, with Harrison 8.3 seconds ahead of Hickman.  Despite a speed of 135.046mph (217.33 km/h) on the second lap, Dunlop just missed the overall lap record.


Half-time: Dunlop maintains control

At the halfway point of the race, Dunlop had extended its lead to an impressive 18.8 seconds. The biggest disappointment of the race was Todd, who had to retire from the race.  This moved Hillier up to fourth place, with Coward and McGuinness now in fifth and sixth respectively.

On the fourth lap, Dunlop reached a speed of 134.192mph (215.96 km/h), which increased his lead to over 20 seconds for the first time.  Harrison successfully held off Hickman, while the top three drivers held more than a minute lead over the rest of the field.


Second pit stop and the final third of the race

The second and final pit stop at the end of lap four brought slight changes in the gaps.  Dunlop’s lead shrank to 19 seconds, but there was only 3.6 seconds between Harrison and Hickman.  Coward had gotten as close as seven seconds to Hillier.

Despite Hickman’s late charge, Dunlop was able to control the race over the final two laps and took his second win of the week.  Harrison rounded out the podium in third place.


Results and rewards for outstanding rides

Hillier and Coward were rewarded for their outstanding rides with fourth and fifth, while McGuinness, Brookes, Herbertson, Rutter and Anderson rounded out the top ten.


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Isle of Man TT 2023 - Superbike Race
Isle of Man TT 2023 - Superbike Race (2)
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