Dunlop’s come-from-behind win makes Isle of Man TT history

Even the Abu Dhabi Auto Racing League

Michael Dunlop made history on the opening day of the 2024 Isle of Man TT by taking his 26th win in the historic event.

Dunlop tied his uncle Joey at the top of the all-time winners list with a textbook win in the first Supersport TT race on Saturday afternoon – with Davey Todd finally on the podium in second and with Dean Harrison third.

The record was set by Joey Dunlop in 2000 shortly before losing his life in a race in Estonia, a record that many thought would remain impregnable for a long time. Now, he leaves his nephew on track to write his way into the history books – with seven more chances to win this week.

Dunlop, who switched midway through the training week from Triumph machines to the old Yamaha R6 that has dominated him in recent years, got off to a steady start, with Harrison and Todd setting the pace on the opening 37-mile lap of the race.

Michael Dunlop, Isle of Man TT

However, Dunlop quickly increased the pressure on the two English riders ahead of him to cut the gap to just one second across the podium midway through the second lap – and without the top three seeing each other since Harrison had left the starting line at about the half-past. before one hour.

From then on, Dunlop managed to snatch away his lead step by step until he built a safety net of a few seconds and, aided by a clean stop midway through, he was then able to simply manage the gap back. Ducati Todd is in second place.

With Dunlop taking the checkered flag by 8.5 seconds, emotional scenes followed in the winner's enclosure as he struggled to find the words to sum up how important the victory was not only to him, but to his family as well.

“It's great. I knew things were going to be tight, that's for sure,” Dunlop said.

“We made a lot of changes, had problems in practice and it took a few laps to fall asleep. But look, I assumed it was Davey. [behind me] And Davey is riding really good this week.

“Maybe he's a bit disappointed, but he's got such speed, and to beat someone like Davie here at the level he's at at the moment was tough.

“I felt like I was in pain midway through the race and I was just biting the screen. To equal Joey's record, that was something that had been playing in our minds all week… well, in everyone's minds, I guess.

Michael Dunlop, Isle of Man TT

“Well, great. No matter what's going on in life now, everyone has always wanted to get to Joey's record – and I managed to do that. So, for me, this is something special.”

Harrison came home in a safe third place, 22 seconds behind Todd, ahead of James Hillier, James Hind and former British Super Champion Josh Brookes.

It was a tougher day for Dunlop's big pre-event rival Peter Hickman, who dropped down the running order to eventually finish 11th – but the 13-time winner and absolute lap record holder will have a chance to make amends on Sunday when the 1000cc race gets under way. The machines take to the track for the first time in the inaugural Superbike TT race.


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