Michael Dunlop has secured victory in the red-flagged 2017 Senior race at the Isle of Man TT to mark a historic feat on his 15th career win at the TT.
After the initial Senior race was stopped when Ian Hutchinson came off at the 27th milestone on lap two, in which he suffered a broken femur, race officials confirmed a four-lap restart. Hutchinson had been battling Peter Hickman for the lead before his off with Michael Dunlop struggling for outright pace.
After an almost two-hour delay, Dunlop charged into the lead having made small set-up adjustments but was challenged early by Hickman who was hunting a fifth TT podium from five races in 2017.
Having edged out a small gap on Hickman, Dunlop blitzed the times on his second lap with a 132.903mph before pitting and despite the Smiths Racing BMW producing a smart stop to chip away at Dunlop’s advantage, the Bennetts Suzuki settled on a rhythm to keep Hickman at bay.
With a relatively trouble-free charge the chequered flag, Dunlop eventually claimed his 15th career TT win by 13 seconds over Hickman and set a record of winning on Suzuki, BMW, Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha machinery.
Hickman sealed his riders’ champion status with a fifth podium of the event in second place having stayed clear of the chasing pack in his pursuit of Dunlop.
With a number of high profile faces out of action, after Guy Martin confirmed his withdrawal from the Senior race for Honda while Hutchinson, Lee Johnston and John McGuinness were ruled out by injury, Dean Harrison took control of the opportunity to clinch the final rostrum spot having seen Bruce Anstey retire with an engine issue on lap two.
Harrison’s final lap of 132.019mph enabled him to stretch clear of James Hillier on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki, while veteran Michael Rutter added to his Lightweight TT win with fifth place.
Behind the front five it became a battle of the Nortons with Josh Brookes taking sixth place ahead of team-mate David Johnson who enjoyed a race-long tussle on the timesheet.