Road Racing News

TT 2019: Dunlop Records 19th TT Victory After Gripping, Pulsating Battle With KTS Racing’s Coward

With great conditions, great weather, an extremely ultra competitive field the stage was set for an intriguing Bennetts Lightweight race, which set off on scheduled time at 6:30 PM.

Lap 1:

In nigh on perfect conditions, SC Project Paton’s Michael Dunlop powered into an early lead at Glen Helen, moving 2.6 seconds clear of Lightweight class practice week leader Jamie Coward.

KTS Racing’s Coward took a few tenths off Dunlop’s advantage at Ballaugh Bridge, whilst the KMR Kawasaki trio of Gary Johnson, Lee Johnston and Michael Rutter respectively occupied third, fourth and fifth.

The gap between Dunlop and Coward, extended slightly at Ramsey Hairpin, with now just over four seconds separating the S1-R Paton, ER6 Kawasaki mounted competitors.

Photo by Mark Corlett

Dramatically Coward almost moved into race lead at the Bungalow, with just 0.262 of a second between him and 18 times TT winner Dunlop.

By Cronk Ny Mona Coward was into the race lead, heading Dunlop by almost a second, and come the completion of lap 1, his advantage stood at closing in on 0.8 of a second.

Monster Energy Supersport race 1 victor Johnston held third, North West 200 Super Twins winner Bonetti held fourth as Johnson, Dafabet Devitt Racing’s Paul Jordan completed the top six.

Two of the works Norton trio John McGuinness and Davey Todd, dropped out of contention, with reigning TT Privateers champion Todd retiring at the pit lane.

Lap 2:

Coward maintained the race lead at Glen Helen on lap 2, but was only 0.472 clear of Dunlop. Johnston remained in third place, and was a further 12 plus seconds behind.

There was no change out front at Ballaugh Bridge, but Coward’s lead was reduced again by Dunlop, with now only one tenth of a second covering the class pace setters.

On the run to Ramsey Hairpin, Dunlop surged back into the race lead, moving 1.4 seconds clear of Coward, who was still very much in with a great chance of claiming a maiden TT victory.

Just 1.1 seconds covered Dunlop and Coward at the Bungalow, whilst the following timing point at Cronk Ny Mona saw them separated by only seven and a half tenths.

Ultimately with a final lap of 122.75 mph, Michael Dunlop took his total of TT victories to 19, made it back to back Lightweight TT titles by just 1.29 seconds over Jamie Coward, who joins for the first time the TT podium finishers circle.

Leading the KMR Kawasaki challenge, although competing in Ashcourt Racing colours Lee Johnston concluded the rostrum finishers, whilst banking an excellent fourth place finish, and a huge new personal best TT result was Dafabet Devitt Racing’s Paul Jordan.

Michael Rutter, Stefano Bonetti respectively secured fifth, sixth place finishes, whilst placing’s 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th were claimed by Gary Johnson, sole Norton finisher Peter Hickman, Cowton Racing’s Dominic Herbertson and Team ILR/Mark Coverdale supported Horst Saiger.

Photo by Nick Wheeler

In total 31 racers completed the reduced in distance two lap race, with added notable performances coming from the likes of James Chawke (11th), Jonathan Perry (14th), Rob Whittall (19th), Japan’s Masayuki Yamanaka (23rd) and VRS Racing’s AJ Venter (24th).

Bennetts Lightweight TT race result is as follows:

1 Michael Dunlop
2 Jamie Coward
3 Lee Johnston
4 Paul Jordan
5 Michael Rutter
6 Stefano Bonetti
7 Gary Johnson
8 Peter Hickman
9 Dominic Herbertson
10 Horst Saiger
11 James Chawke
12 Ian Lougher
13 John Barton
14 Jonathan Perry
15 Michal Dokoupil
16 Shaun Anderson
17 Xavier Denis
18 Jim Hodson
19 Rob Whittall
20 Darren Cooper
21 Barry Furber
22 Dave Moffitt
23 Masayuki Yamanaka
24 AJ Venter
25 Maria Costello MBE
26 Anthony Redmond
27 Dave Madsen Mygdal
28 Paul Williams
29 Miroslav Sloboda
30 Nicolas Pautet
31 George Spence

Words by Stevie Rial

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