Attentions following the Birchall brothers latest Mountain Course magic, transcended upon the second four-lap Monster Energy Supersport race. Seventh in yesterday’s Royal London 360 Superstock opener, Milenco by Padgetts Conor Cummins was a non-starter. Announcing this news via Twitter, the ‘Ramsey Rocket’ stated: “Unfortunately, I won’t be out in todays’ SSP race. I tried really hard yesterday but realize I need more time. We will go again on Friday.” Lap 1: 24 times TT winner Michael Dunlop took a narrow lead at Glen Helen, with only 0.113 covering him and race leader on the road, Boyce Precision Engineering/Russell Racing’s Dean Harrison. Peter Hickman held third, 1.793 in arrears to respected rival Harrison. Dunlop continued to lead at Ballaugh Bridge, with his advantage now expanded to 2.685 seconds. Harrison, Hickman were now separated by only 0.877 of a second. Onto Ramsey Hairpin and Dunlop going five seconds clear, was steadily pulling away from Harrison and Hickman. Pierre Yves Bian retired at Braddan Oak whilst James Hillier’s challenge concluded at Whitegates. By the Bungalow, Dunlop was 7.2 to the good out front which was reduced slightly to 6.692 as lap one finalised. Hickman was third behind with Davey Todd, Jamie Coward, Jim Hind rounding out the leader-board top six. Lap 2: An absolutely flying Dunlop opened on the run towards Ballaugh Bridge, a 11.359, pretty much 11.36 seconds lead over Harrison. Hickman maintained close proximity towards Harrison whilst Jamie Coward overhauled Davey Todd for fourth. By Ramsey Hairpin, Hickman astride the K2 Trooper Beer/PHR Performance Triumph, had usurped Harrison for second. Out front Dunlop, on course for a new class lap record, looked in top fettle aboard his own squads, Carl Cox Motorsport backed YZF R6 Yamaha. At lap two’s conclusion, Dunlop almost surpassing the existing Supersport lap record (129.370) led Hickman by 11.636 seconds. Harrison third was 5.488 down on ten times TT Champion Hickman. 2022 Duke Road Race Rankings winner Todd regrouped to re-take fourth from Coward. Twice Manx GP victor Hind, remained a stellar sixth in front of PreZ Racing’s Paul Jordan. Lap 3: Post scheduled pit-stops, through Glen Helen and Ballaugh Bridge, the gap between Dunlop and Hickman increased marginally to 11.916 seconds. Hickman wasn’t giving up and at Ramsey Hairpin cut Dunlop’s P1 lead to 10.419 seconds. Then it was 8.988 seconds, could Hickman re-define what is possible and score a famous victory? Hickman narrowed the gap further to Dunlop at lap three’s end, with now just 8.147 covering two of the all-time TT greats. Harrison in third was now 20.611 behind Hickman with Todd, Super Twins race 1 podium finisher Coward remaining fourth, fifth. Lap 4: Determined to make it 25 TT triumphs, Dunlop upped, upped, upped his pace across the fourth and final lap, thwarting Hickman’s potent charge. 130 mph laps, more history, more TT greatness wasn’t far from the horizon. Unlocking his best form when he needed it most, Dunlop sped to the chequered flag, setting a new race record and a new Supersport lap record of 130.403 mph, the first 130 mph lap by a Supersport mounted competitor. He is now only one win shy of his uncle Joey Dunlop’s all time TT wins record. Race runner-up Hickman also topped the 130-mark lapping at 130.219 mph. The final gap between Dunlop and Hickman was 9.617 seconds. Harrison also inside the previous race record, took third, upping his TT podium finishes collection to twenty-three. Todd, Coward, Hind gained respective finishes of fourth, fifth and sixth. Ulster GP Super Twins winner in 2019 Jordan bagged seventh as Bathams Racing’s Craig Neve, No.1 plate holder David Johnson and Dominic Herbertson swept up positions eighth, ninth and tenth. Additional competitors swooping up creditable results included Joey Thompson (15th), top newcomer Ryan Cringle (18th), Forest Dunn (19th), Jonathan Goetschy (20th). TT 2023 – Monster Energy Supersport Race 2 Result: 1st – Michael Dunlop 2nd – Peter Hickman 3rd – Dean Harrison 4th – Davey Todd 5th – Jamie Coward 6th – Jim Hind 7th – Paul Jordan 8th – Craig Neve 9th – David Johnson 10th – Dominic Herbertson 11th – Rob Hodson 12th – Michael Browne 13th – Shaun Anderson 14th – Michal Dokoupil 15th – Joey Thompson 16th – Brian McCormack 17th – Barry Furber 18th – Ryan Cringle 19th – Forest Dunn 20th – Jonathan Goetschy 21st – Richard Wilson 22nd – James Chawke 23rd – Stefano Bonetti 24th – Timothee Monot 25th – AJ Venter 26th – Rhys Hardisty 27th – Tom Weeden 28th – Xavier Denis 29th – Paul Cassidy 30th – Gary Vines 31st – Mark Goodings 32nd – Martin Morris 33rd – Paul Williams 34th – Jorge Halliday 35th – Jack Petrie 36th – Masayuki Yamanaka 37th – David Brook 38th – Craig Szczypek Photo credit: Mark Corlett Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou
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