Road Racing News

TT 2018: Dunlop Goes Tied 3rd On All Time Winners List With Record Breaking Supersport Success

The great weather, road conditions at TT 2018 continued for the opening Monster Energy Supersport race, which as in the prior RST Superbike, Locate.im Sidecar races, produced action of the absolute highest quality.

Lap 1:

As in the RST Superbike race, Silicone Engineering Racing’s Dean Harrison took an early race lead at Glen Helen, holding a 1 second lead over Michael Dunlop who in turn was just two seconds clear of James Hillier.

By Ballaugh Bridge Harrison’s race lead was trimmed to just 0.228 as Dunlop and his PTR prepared Honda, like his Silicone Engineering Kawasaki mounted counterpart quickly got into the groove.

Onto Ramsey Hairpin and we had a new race leader as Dunlop moved almost a second clear of Harrison. Behind the pace setters, Quattro Plant/JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Hillier in third place was now 8.3 behind the two fastest racers in TT history.

Such was the pace of Dunlop and Harrison, that by the Bungalow they were both ten seconds clear of new occupier of third, Smiths Racing’s Peter Hickman on the distinctive TROOPER Triumph.

Positions within the top three remained the same to completion of lap 1, with Dunlop lapping from a standing start at 128.265 mph, increasing his lead slightly to 1.74 seconds.

Harrison second was almost 12 seconds clear of Hickman, who in turn was 2.5 in front of Hillier, who additionally wasn’t far in front of the Padgetts duo of Lee Johnston and Conor Cummins.

lap 2:

Onto lap 2 and despite Mountain Course lap record holder Harrison’s best efforts, 28 times international road race winner Dunlop steadily taking the lead sector by sector up by a half a second or better.

Come the Bungalow and the race lead grew to over five seconds, Hickman in third was now four seconds clear of Hillier with Johnston and Cummins also in close attendance.

Dunlop taking the lead up to plus six seconds at Cronk Ny Mona, was looking on course for the first ever 129 mph lap of the Mountain Course by a Supersport machine.

As he entered the pits at the end of lap 2, had he broken the 129 mph barrier? He had and some, setting a stunning new Supersport TT lap record of 129.197 mph.

His record breaking lap speed gave him an advantage of 6.4 over Harrison, Hickman and Hillier third and fourth were closely matched with under four seconds covering them prior to their scheduled pit stop.

There was drama a plenty in the pits as Xavier Denis crashed out of contention, following a collision with Jonathan Perry.

We also saw in the pit lane, PreZ Racing’s Jamie Coward contending throughout in the early laps for a top ten placing, retire from the race.

Lap 3:

Race leader Dunlop having had in the pits, a rear wheel change, lost virtually no time on nearest pursuer Harrison despite his longer pit stop by the time they both got to Glen Helen.

Leading now by over nine seconds, it was clear that reliability permitting he was firmly on course for yet another Supersport TT success.

Photo by Jim Gibson

Although there was no change in race order concerning 1st and 2nd positions, there was a battle royal brewing in the battle for third with Hickman and Hillier following a fine pit stop, extremely closely matched.

There was nothing in it throughout lap three between them, but it was 2013 Lightweight TT champion Hillier who took over third on the timing screens following the completion of lap three, 1.5 clear of Hickman.

Both though were over twenty seconds behind front runners Dunlop and Harrison, as we entered the final part of another record breaking race at TT 2018.

Lap 4:

Following for the majority of the fourth and final lap nearest challenger Harrison, Michael Dunlop was doing everything he had to do as he homed in on a 17th TT victory.

Maintaining a lead of 9, 9.5 seconds throughout lap 4, he ultimately crossed the chequered flag ten seconds clear of galant runner up Harrison, who let race winner and now joint third with Dave Molyneux on the all time TT winners list Dunlop, cross the finish line in front of him.

The battle for third was won by reigning Joey Dunlop Championship winner Peter Hickman, who’s lap speed on lap 4 of 128.181 mph was just enough for him to edge out Quattro Plant/JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s James Hillier for his first rostrum finish of TT 2018.

Fifth placed Conor Cummins lead the Padgetts challenge in fifth place, whilst McAMS Yamaha’s Josh Brookes steadily improving pace wise throughout the race, finished a more than creditable sixth.

Photo by Mark Corlett

Concluding the first ten finishers were Gary Johnson, Lee Johnston, McAdoo Kawasaki’s James Cowton and Dafabet Devitt Racing’s Ivan Lintin.

Others to impress included Derek McGee (11th), leading newcomer Davey Todd (12th), Team ILR’s Joe Thompson (21st) and Paul Jordan (22nd).

Race results:

1 Michael Dunlop
2 Dean Harrison
3 Peter Hickman
4 James Hillier
5 Conor Cummins
6 Josh Brookes
7 Gary Johnson
8 Lee Johnston
9 James Cowton
10 Ivan Lintin
11 Derek McGee
12 Davey Todd
13 Martin Jessopp
14 Dominic Herbertson
15 Sam West
16 Ian Hutchinson
17 Adam McLean
18 Michael Sweeney
19 Phil Crowe
20 Craig Neve
21 Joe Thompson
22 Paul Jordan
23 Daley Mathison
24 Julian Trummer
25 Andy Dudgeon
26 Tom Weeden
27 Barry Evans
28 Marc Ironside
29 Michael Evans
30 Mark Parrett
31 Michal Dokoupil
32 Darren Cooper
33 Brian McCormack
34 Jamie Williams
35 Nick Anderson
36 Raul Torras Martinez
37 Jim Hodson
38 Rob Hodson
39 Matt Rees
40 Davy Morgan
41 Adrian Harrison
42 Ian Pattinson
43 Richard Wilson
44 Timothee Monot
45 Kamil Holan
46 Richard Charlton
47 Eric Wilson
48 Rhys Hardisty
49 Mike Norbury
50 Jonathan Perry
51 Rob Whittall
52 Josh Daley
53 Dave Hewson
54 Julien Toniutti
55 Glenn Harrison
56 Masayuki Yamanaka
57 Emmett Burke
58 Justin Collins

Words by Stevie Rial

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