Isle of Man TT: Dunlop gets 17th win, Hickman his first
Michael Dunlop took his 17th Isle of Man TT victory in Monday's Supersport race, while Peter Hickman took his debut win in a thrilling Superstock event.
The first Supersport race of the week opened up Monday's programme, with SSP practice pacesetter Dunlop and Dean Harrison resuming their battle from Saturday's Superbike TT.
Harrison seized the lead in the early stages of the first lap on his Silicone Engineering Kawasaki, though Dunlop wiped out a one-second advantage to go nine tenths clear at the Ramsey Hairpin, and proceeded to open up that gap to 1.7s by the end of the tour.
JG Speedfit Kawasaki's James Hillier held third at Ballaugh, but Hickman managed to get his Trooper Beer Triumph 2.5s in front for the final rostrum spot as they began the second lap.
Dunlop stretched his lead out to six seconds on the second tour to set a new SSP lap record of 17m31.328s at 129.197mph, and lost very little time during the pit stop phase despite having the rear tyre on his MD Racing Honda changed.
By Glen Helen on the third lap, Dunlop was nine seconds in front, and he shadowed Harrison on the road to keep that gap hovering around the 10s mark through to the end to tally up his 17th TT win.
Dunlop's second victory of the 2018 event puts him joint third with Sidecar legend Dave Molyneux on the all-time winners list.
Harrison made up for his clutch-induced retirement in the Superbike race with second in the SSP event, with Hickman responding to an attack from Hillier over lap three to claim third.
Conor Cummins completed the top five on his Padgetts Honda ahead of McAMS Yamaha's Josh Brookes, with Ian Hutchinson 17th on sister Padgetts CBR600.
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The top three in the SSP race battled for victory in a thrilling four-lap Superstock outing on Monday afternoon.
Harrison led Dunlop by 4.3s at the end of the opening lap, while Hickman usurped Michael Rutter for third having started the race down in eighth after running on at Braddan Bridge on the run to Glen Helen.
Hickman dug deep on lap two to overhaul Harrison and Dunlop to take a 1.2s lead into the pit stop phase at the end of lap two, setting a stunning class record of 134.077mph in 16m53.059s on his Smiths BMW.
A slow stop allowed Dunlop and Harrison back ahead at Glen Helen on lap three, but Hickman took the lead again into the closing part of the tour, though only by 0.5s.
Dunlop cut Hickman's advantage down to just a tenth at Ramsey, but Hickman opened up a gap of over four seconds across the rest of a lap to blast his earlier class record of 16m50.601s at 134.403mph to take his maiden TT win.
Harrison got his Kawasaki across the line nine seconds back from Dunlop in third, while David Johnson guided the Gulf BMW into fourth ahead of Hillier and Bathams BMW’s Rutter.
Newcomer Davey Todd benefitted from retirements for Honda duo Lee Johnston and Ian Hutchinson on lap one, and early podium contender Gary Johnson, to end up 10th.
Monday's racing was marred by the tragic death of newcomer Adam Lyon, who lost his life in an incident on the third lap of the Supersport race.
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