TT 2022: Michael Dunlop clinches famous 20th victory in opening Supersport race | New 129mph lap record for Northern Ireland rider | Red flag incident late on last lap

Michael Dunlop pulled out all the stops to clinch a famous 20th Isle of Man TT victory in the opening Supersport race on Monday.
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The Northern Ireland rider was locked in battle with Dean Harrison (DAO Racing Kawasaki) throughout a thrilling three-lap race, but Dunlop produced a blistering final lap on his MD Racing Yamaha to edge out his English rival by 5.6s after shattering his 2018 lap record with a speed of 129.47mph.

Dunlop is now one of only three riders to reach 20 wins or more at the TT, with his uncle Joey leading the way on 26 victories, while John McGuinness has 23. It was his 68th race start at the TT and his 31st podium result.

Saturday’s Superbike race winner Peter Hickman claimed a rostrum on the PHR/Trooper Beer Triumph, 29.4s behind Harrison, with Lee Johnston in fourth on his Ashcourt Racing Yamaha, 3.5s further behind.

Michael Dunlop won Monday's opening Supersport race on his MD Racing Yamaha and set a new lap record at 129.45mph.Michael Dunlop won Monday's opening Supersport race on his MD Racing Yamaha and set a new lap record at 129.45mph.
Michael Dunlop won Monday's opening Supersport race on his MD Racing Yamaha and set a new lap record at 129.45mph.

On lap one, Dunlop – third in the Superbike race on Saturday – clocked 126.92mph from a standing start to lead Harrison (126.54mph) by 3.2s as they came in for a compulsory pit-stop, with Hickman 2.1s adrift in third and 2019 winner Johnston fourth.

Harrison cut into Dunlop’s lead on the second lap and was only 0.9s behind at Ballaugh, with Hickman losing ground in third, 9.3s down on Harrison. OMG Yamaha’s James Hillier was into fourth after Johnston lost up to eight seconds during his pit-stop.

There was little to choose between Dunlop and Harrison on the run over the Mountain, with the Ulster rider still in front by 1.1s when they reached the Grandstand.

Harrison had clear road ahead of him after starting at number two, while Dunlop had passed fellow Northern Ireland rider Johnston on the road as he began the final lap.

At Glen Helen, Harrison had reeled in Dunlop and was now only 0.140s adrift, but he was unable to get any closer the race leader opened a slight advantage of 0.3s at Ballaugh, which he extended to 2.6s when he arrived at Ramsey hairpin.

Dunlop was also strong over the Mountain on his Yamaha R6 and led Harrison by 3.4s at the Bungalow.

The 33-year-old now had a cushion and Dunlop pulled further clear on the run to the finish, wrapping up a stunning 20th TT win by 5.6s and establishing a new lap record in excess of 129mph.

Hickman sealed the final rostrum place behind Harrison, with Johnston missing out on a top-three finish by 3.5s after he got a tow from Dunlop on the last lap of the 37.73-mile course.

Hiller took fifth, seven seconds behind Johnston, with Jamie Coward rounding out the top six on the KTS/Steadplan Yamaha.

Milenco by Padgett's Honda riders Davey Todd and Conor Cummins completed the top eight.

The race was reduced from four laps to three in a revised Monday schedule to accommodate the first Sidecar race, which was abandoned on Saturday following the fatal accident involving French Sidecar passenger Olivier Lavorel.

A red-flag incident was reported late on the last lap in the Supersport race after the leading riders had completed the race.