2022 Isle of Man Supersport TT | Dunlop beats Harrison in thrilling 20th TT win

Michael Dunlop repels a determined attack from Dean Harrison to claim victory in the first Supersport race of the 2022 Isle of Man TT, his 20th career TT win

Michael Dunlop - MD Racing Yamaha
Michael Dunlop - MD Racing Yamaha

Michael Dunlop landed his 20th Isle of Man TT victory in fine style after prevailing in a thrilling tussle with Dean Harrison in the first Supersport race of the week.

Smashing his own lap record on the final lap to resist the close attentions of Harrison over the final revolution of the shortened three-lap encounter, Dunlop becomes only the third rider in history to achieve 20 wins on the island.

The favourite coming into the race after setting the pace in qualifying practice on the MD Racing Yamaha R6, though Dunlop led from the first split and was never headed thereafter, he was hassled all the way by Dean Harrison on the KawasakI ZX-6R.

Indeed, with Harrison making the most of the running order by quickly overhauling John McGuinness on the road and getting his head down out front, the DAO Racing rider got the gap to Dunlop down to just 0.140secs at the start of the final lap.

Harrison’s proximity was all the motivation Dunlop needed to raise his level once again, squeezing out the gap to three seconds by Cronk ny Mona, eventually crossing the finish line 5.6secs up on his rival with a new lap record of 129.47mph.

It means Dunlop joins his uncle Joey Dunlop (26) and McGuinness (23) in winning at least 20 TT races, eight of which have come in the Supersport class. It puts him in good stead for the week ahead too with one more Supersport race to come, plus the Supertwins where he is also tipped for success.

In a reverse of the Superbike race - where Dunlop finished third, behind Harrison - Saturday’s race winner Peter Hickman saw his hopes of a ‘Super Six’ wins come to an early end as he trailed home in third, 29secs adrift on the PHR Triumph.

Even so, it was a strong result for the Louth rider, who spent much of the race in fourth, first trailing Lee Johnston before then being overhauled by James Hillier. However, Hickman would get the better of the OMG Yamaha rider by flag, as would Johnston, who might have landed the podium had he not suffered for a slow pit-stop.

Jamie Coward’s impressive TT continued with a second top six finish of the week on the KTS Yamaha, holding off top Honda representatives Conor Cummins and Davy Todd. Dominic Herbertson achieved his second top ten finish of the week in ninth, ahead of Ian Hutchinson.

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