2023 Isle of Man TT Results
Supersport TT Race Two – Four Laps
With Ben McCook
The 2023 IOM TT is the gift that keeps on giving. Michael Dunlop now sits on 25 TT wins after claiming victory in the second Monster Energy Supersport race of the week with a record breaking performance on Wednesday afternoon.
The 34-year-old has sensationally taken four-in-a-week and is now only just one win behind his uncle Joey, with three more races to go.
Michael picked up the pen of destiny and blasted through the 130 mph barrier on the final circuit today, to keep a menacing Peter Hickman at bay and write yet another chapter into the annals of TT folklore. This one was the closest of all though.
Both Dunlop and Hickman smashed the lap record on the final circuit to each bank unfathomable 130 mph supersport laps. On the third lap Hickman appeared to be clawing Dunlop back but MD got the message and threw the kitchen sink at it over the final circuit. The fans trackside and around the world were twitching in anticipation as the live broadcast relayed the news on a frantic final lap of this middle-weight thriller.
‘The Bull’ would not be turned and increased his lead to a comfortable ten-seconds at the line to make it a quarter of a century of wins and tuck tightly into Joey’s slipstream with two days of action still to go.
The race began with Micky D out in front with Harrison and Hickman hot on his coat tails. But it wasn’t long before Hickman wrestled the Trooper Triumph ahead of Harrison and as the leaders slowed to refuel at the end of lap two, it quickly became clear that #6 and #10 were the only men capable of winning the race.
Deano became embroiled in a fight with Davey Todd, who finally came out to play and got involved in a serious podium battle for the first time all week.
Behind them, Jamie Coward rode a lonely fourth after his sparring partner, James Hillier stopped at White Gates on the opening lap. Young Jim Hind was riding an amazing race behind them to complete the top six, surely a star of the future.
As the race entered into the second half, Hickman began the fightback. The Trooper Triumph was taking back seconds here and seconds there, as they started the last lap the gap was down to 7.8-seconds.
But Dunlop got the message and posted the fastest sector of the race as they charged between Ballaugh and Glen Helen for the final time and when the clocks stopped, Michael had taken half-a-second back. The tide had turned.
It was at this point that the timekeepers started to sit up and take notice- the first ever Supersport 130 mph lap was on- who could ever have dreamt that that was possible when McGuinness first did a 130 on the Fireblade 15 years ago…? But this was no dream…
The two biggest stars at the TT were going head to head; each on motorbikes that they had prepared themselves. Michael’s supported by DJ, Carl Cox, and Hickman’s by Iron Maiden- but who would come out on top…?
At Ramsey the difference was 9.4-seconds and at the Bungalow it was a comfortable 10-seconds. Michael then took it ‘steady’ over the mountain, banking a sensational 130.4 mph lap despite catching Harrison on the road on the final run through Cronk-ny-Mona. But Hickman pushed him all the way to also click into that exclusive 130 bracket; proof if it were needed just how high the standard of the racing is around the TT this year.
It was one of those races that don’t come very often; nerve jangling hair on end stuff. Pure magic.
“I had a comfortable lead but because the Triumph has so many more ccs I knew I would have to ride the wee Yam to its full ability but the boys put a fantastic bike below me and I knew we would do 130. I tried to monitor it and just upped the game (when Hickman was coming) The wee bikes sweet and I cant thank the lads enough.
“The bike hasn’t changed in years, it’s just been fantastic… obviously the new generation bikes make the job a bit harder for us boys with smaller ccs. I can’t thank the boys enough, I jist decided I would have a wee go at it. To build something out of the workshop and to come here and do 130 is pretty cool.”
It’s hard to describe what it’s like to be here on the Isle.of Man. The hand of history is upon us and whoever you talk to knows that this is one of those iconic years. 1967, 1992… 2000. Dunlop is standing upon the shoulders of giants and the fans are lapping it up.
Even Peter Hickman is sending his best wishes..
“It’s so good to have a proper Michael Dunlop winning races. I’ve had two years where everyone has had problems and it’s all worked out for me. Now I’m having some trouble, but this is what I want. If it was easy, there wouldn’t be any point in doing it.”
Proper respect from one TT legend to another.
Dean Harrison took third, 25-seconds behind Hickman, but 12-seconds ahead of Davey Todd, who in turn had ten-seconds on Jamie Coward.
“It’s been another good day at the office, but I had a moment on the first lap which was a shame as the first sector felt strong. The false neutral sent me wide at Laurel Bank and I steered the bike as best I could and managed to glance off the recticel barriers rather than hit them. It took me a while to get going after that, but I was soon back inside the top six and when Michael came by me, I tucked in behind and managed to stay with him for quite a long time.
“He got away from me on lap three and I lost the tow whilst the rear felt a bit strange after I went through the Bottom of Barregarrow quicker than before. I went steady through the 13th Milestone and Kirk Michael but got my head down again and to lap at close to 128mph on a 600cc bike is not too shabby at all – although the 130s of Michael and Pete blow my mind! I’m happy with the result though and I’m proving I can do it in every race and on every bike. A few years ago, I didn’t think I could run with the top boys but now I know I can.”
James Hind was over a minute further back in sixth place but well ahead of Paul Jordan, Craig Neve and David Johnson while Dominic Herbertson rounded out the top ten.
“I was hoping to get in the top ten on the little bike again so I’m happy to have achieved that although it’s slightly annoying to miss out on eighth by such a small margin! I had a good battle with Paul Jordan, and he was helping me in terms of exiting the corners and by getting in his tow, it dragged me along a bit. He had a problem at Ramsey on the final lap though which was a shame as I had to do the Mountain on my own; if he’d still been ahead, I could have tucked in behind him and eighth place could have been mine. The bike was faultless again and ninth is a good, strong result in the Supersport class for a heavy dude like me so with three top ten finishes so far, we’re having a good week.”
Friday has the second round of Superstock and SuperTwin races and you wouldn’t count Michael out of either. Joey’s son, Gary posted a photo of a baton being handed over on social media a few nights ago – a nice gesture from Michael’s cousin. Could it be passed on Friday? We’ll soon find out. Thursday is the second and final rest day. A much need break for all concerned.
2023 Isle of Man TT Results
Supersport TT Race Two – Four Laps
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