Beginning on schedule at 10:45 AM, the reduced in distance two-lap Monster Energy Supersport race 2, proved tumultuous for a selection of International road racing’s finest pilots.
Lots of chat pre-race revolved around the strong gusts arising, would they sternly impact the pace? Who would it suit? Who could adapt best to the conditions?
Grand Prix racing great Randy Mamola was the honorary starter as racing commenced.
At the first timing point during lap one at Glen Helen, Supersport lap record holder Michael Dunlop led Peter Hickman by only 0.158 of a second.
Quickly overhauling John McGuinness MBE to lead on the road, DAO Racing’s Dean Harrison was third, 1.96 behind Hickman with fourth held by Milenco by Padgetts Davey Todd.
Dunlop’s lead increased marginally to 0.455 at Ballaugh Bridge whilst early race retirements were Twins class front runner Pierre Yves Bian and twice TT winner Gary Johnson.
0.576 was Dunlop’s advantage at Ramsey Hairpin, Harrison maintained third, Hebden Bridge’s Jamie Coward was nigh-on six seconds in arrears to his fellow Yorkshireman.
Ashcourt Racing’s Lee Johnston retired at the pits as Dunlop held a 0.57 advantage over Hickman as lap one finalised.
Harrison, Todd, Coward, Conor Cummins rounded out the top six. Rich Energy OMG Racing’s James Hillier was seventh whilst Cowton Racing’s Dominic Herbertson was quietly impressing, holding eighth.
By Glen Helen on the second and final lap Dunlop moved almost two seconds clear, could he make it TT win No.21?
Harrison looked good for another podium finish whilst the tight battle for fourth was brewing up nicely between Todd, Coward and Cummins.
1.394 was Dunlop’s lead at Ballaugh Bridge, world’s fastest road racer Hickman had his eyes set on a 27th International road race triumph.
Notorious for his aptitude over the Mountain, Hickman surprisingly lost time to Dunlop at the Bungalow.
Now 2.7 seconds back, could Hickman reel Dunlop in? Or would the Ballymoney roads giant enjoy another memorable TT success.
The answer was TT win number 21 for Dunlop, now the most successful Supersport TT racer in history.
Hickman finished 3.297 behind Dunlop who’s final lap speed was 128.536 mph.
Harrison secured third, claiming his third podium finish of TT 2022.
Todd took fourth, Coward banked fifth with sixth going to Manxman Cummins.
Finalising the first twelve finishers were Herbertson, BE Racing/RK Racing’s Michael Browne, Paul Jordan, BTS/NLC Components supported Jim Hind, who’s last lap included going straight on at Ramsey Hairpin and Dafabet Racing’s Rob Hodson.
TT debutants Joe Loughlin, Jamie Cringle bagged creditable 21st, 29th place finishes whilst others sealing solid results included Michael Evans (14th), WH Racing’s Julian Trummer (22nd) and America’s Chris Sarbora (28th).
Photo credit: Mark Corlett, Nick Wheeler
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou