With the victory in the 1 Supersport and Superbike races, Michael Dunlop is at 23 victories. Thus flanked by the myth John McGuinness, Uncle Joey’s record is now within reach. Hickman pursues closely
June 5, 2023
The premises of the qualifying had clearly let it be understood that this would be a decidedly “fast” edition of the Tourist Trophy and that it would be lived in the challenge between two authentic champions of road racing: Michael Dunlop e Peter Hickman. Mind you, not that the Harrisons, the Hilliers or the Cowards are supporting actors, not to mention “McPint”, but after last year’s poker Hickman was the man to beat in 2023 and Dunlop has no desire to give up the possibility of reaching (and exceeding) the record of victories at the TT of his uncle Joey Dunlop attested to 26 triumphs.
Supersport Gara 1
And so Michael Dunlop immediately shows its intentions for 2023 in the inaugural race of the Supersport: silent, dedicated, almost reserved and totally focused on the bike and the result, the Northern Irishman grabs it tenth victory in the category and the 22nd personal in a race where he took the lead from Ballaugh on the first lap without letting go and went on to win with a record gap of 12.329 seconds on Peter Hickman which in turn got the better of Dean Harrison for less than four tenths.
Podio Superbike gara 1: Hickman, Dunlop, Harrison
Nineteenth ours Stephen Bonetti who rode his Yamaha on the fourth – and last lap – of the race 121.24 mph average, marking your own personal best in the category.
Superbike: Dunlop wins again
But it’s in the Superbikethe six-lap race, which Dunlop marks a further point of demarcation: it stands out, becoming the second most successful rider ever at the TT with 23 victories alongside John McGuiness (this year at the start with the grit ever, an icon of road racing) in this prestigious classification and relegates – once again – Peter Hickman in second place with a gap of 8.2 seconds. Tight race, with Dunlop in the lead from the first lap and with Peter Hickman trying to catch his rival with fast laps (and 322.8km/h top speed at Sulbybut Mickey D is no less with a net 322 km/h) which lead him to score a average speed of 135.445 mph despite a problem with the quickshifter for his BMW M1000RR: just 46 thousandths below the absolute record on the Snaefell which has belonged to him since 2018!
Also in this race the standard bearer of Team DAO Racing Kawasaki Dean Harrison is thirdpodium therefore identical to the Supersport and balances therefore, for now, quite evident. James Hillier takes his Yamaha to fourth place, fifth is Jamie Coward e sixth the great John McGuinessWhile Bonetti is twenty-second.
If these are the premises, we expect an epic battle for the Senior TT on Saturday 10 June, and in the meantime Dunlop has every chance of becoming the most successful rider ever at the TT because Uncle Joey’s record is only three lengths away; but in the meantime let’s enjoy the next races, starting from Superstock and the Supertwin making their debut on June 6th.