Motorcycle racer Michael Dunlop kicked off the race week at the Isle of Man TT Races by taking victory in the first Monster Energy Supersport TT race.  This is his tenth triumph in this category and his 22nd win overall.

Triumphant start for Dunlop

Riding his MD Racing Yamaha, Dunlop moved into the lead on the first lap at Ballaugh and never relinquished the lead.  In the end, he triumphed with a race-record time that gave him a lead of 12.3 seconds.  Peter Hickman on his K2 Trooper Beer Triumph held off Dean Harrison on his BPE by Russell Racing Yamaha to finish second, just 0.394 seconds ahead after four laps.

 

The battle for the top spot

In excellent conditions around the Mountain Course, Harrison led the group of riders through Glen Helen on the first lap, but had only a half-second advantage over Dunlop.  Hickman was another second back in third.  Davey Todd on his Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles Honda was another seven-tenths back, followed closely by Harrison’s teammate James Hillier.

Jamie Coward on his KTS Racing powered by Steadplan Yamaha made the top six in the early stages, with the top six riders separated by just 3.4 seconds.  However, Mike Browne was unlucky, unable to start as his engine failed in the earlier warm-up session.

 

Dunlop’s breakthrough and dominance

Dunlop managed to take the lead on the way to Ballaugh, his advantage over Harrison was now 1.5 seconds.  A similar distance lay between him and Hickman.  Coward had moved into fourth place by overtaking both Todd and Hillier.

By Ramsey, Dunlop’s lead had stretched to 3.6 seconds.  That lead grew as Dunlop crested Snaefell Mountain.  His first-lap speed of 128.305mph (about 206.49 km/h) gave him a 5.4-second lead over Harrison.  Hickman remained in third place, but was now 4.6 seconds behind Harrison, but maintained the same distance from fourth-place Coward.

 

The race finds its champion

On the final lap, Dunlop again secured the win with a reassuring lead of 17.5 seconds.  However, Hickman managed to close the gap to Harrison and ultimately prevail on the one-mile section from Cronk ny Mona to Grandstand, aided by a lap of over 129mph (approx. 207.6 km/h).

Coward held off Todd’s challenge to finish an excellent fourth, while Hillier took sixth.  The remaining top ten finishes went to Jordan, Johnson, Hodson and Hind, who recovered from his 30-second penalty for speeding in pit lane to secure tenth.

 

Credit to the local hero

Local hero Ryan Cringle deserves special praise, finishing 22nd as the best rookie after clocking a speed of 120.364mph (about 193.71 km/h) on his final lap.

 

Final thoughts

Michael Dunlop’s impressive performance at the Isle of Man TT Races once again underlines his exceptional status in this demanding sport.  The upcoming races promise to be just as exciting, and fans can look forward to more thrilling duels and outstanding performances.

 

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Isle of Man TT 2023 - SuperSport TT Race 1
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