Michael Dunlop took his third
TT win on Wednesday evening when he won the second Monster
Energy Supersport race by 13 seconds from Cameron Donald.
The Ard na Mara Homes/McAdoo Racing rider took over
the lead halfway round the first lap when brother William
retired and he gradually pulled away from Cameron Donald
who took his third runner-up spot of the week. The battle
for third went all the way to the chequered flag though
and it was Ryan Farquhar who got the better of Bruce
Anstey by just one hundredth of a second.
The decision to hold the race later in the evening
clearly paid dividends as the clouds gave way to clear
blue skies and sunshine although it did present its
usual hazard of bright sun from the Union Mills to Ballacraine
section. Lack of adhesion flags were also being displayed
at Glen Helen and Governor’s Bridge where a few
damp patches remained.
It was 6.25pm when John McGuinness headed off down
Bray Hill but at Glen Helen it was William Dunlop who
led, the Wilson Craig Honda rider keen to improve upon
his third place of two days ago. He led Michael by a
healthy 2.6s with Donald a second back in third and
he in turn held the same lead over the fast starting
James Hillier. Anstey and McGuinness held onto fifth
and sixth but Gary Johnson was in trouble and he was
later given as a retirement at Ballaugh.
William Dunlop didn’t even get that far though
retiring at Kirk Michael and with an opening lap of
124.391mph, Michael’s lead over Donald was 5.49s.
Anstey was six seconds back in third although he was
only 2.06s clear of team-mate McGuinness. Farquhar was
up to fifth but there was little to choose between him,
Hillier and Guy Martin. Ian Hutchinson and the exciting
youngsters Dan Cooper and Dean Harrison rounded out
the top ten.
Dunlop extended his lead over Donald to seven seconds
at Glen Helen on the second lap with the same gap back
to Anstey in third and at the end of the lap, the leading
two were keeping each other in check. Meanwhile, Farquhar
had opened up a gap over Hillier and was now closing
in on McGuinness for fourth.
The Australian Donald reduced Dunlop’s lead to
6.5s at Ramsey on the third lap and he was now leading
on the road having overhauled both Farquhar and McGuinness.
The KMR Kawasaki rider sat with the Honda rider and
it enabled him to get the better of not only McGuinness
but also Anstey who he had now relegated to fourth.
It was still close though with just 0.46s between them.
At the head of the field, Dunlop responded to his signals
and didn’t allow Donald to get any closer. Indeed,
with the fastest lap of the race 125.629mph, he extended
his lead throughout the final lap to take his second
Supersport win and third TT win in total, his eventual
winning margin being 13.26s. Donald was secure in second
but Farquhar had to race all the way to the bitter end
and he got the better of Anstey for the final podium
spot by the tiny amount of 0.01s.
McGuinness had to settle for fifth on this occasion
and Ian Hutchinson came through for sixth, the Swan
Yamaha rider getting stronger as the race progressed.
That meant that Hillier and Martin were in seventh and
eighth with Dan Stewart and Dan Cooper rounding out
the top ten, the latter scoring his best ever TT result.
The results mean there’s everything to play for
in the TT Rider’s Championship with just 8 points
now separating McGuinness (74), Anstey (67) and Donald
(66). However, the race for the Privateer’s Championship
has now been decided with Stewart leading on an unassailable
83 points. The battle for second is wide open though
with Cooper on 44 and Stefano Bonetti on 42 currently
occupying second and third.