Michael Dunlop made the doubters eat the words on Wednesday afternoon when he broke both the lap and race records on his way to winning the 2018 Lightweight TT race on the SC Paton.
With a strategic plan for the four-lap race, Dunlop was comfortable with Ivan Lintin extending his lead to almost ten seconds on the second lap and was set to up his pace in the second half of the race. Lintin retired towards the end of the second lap but Dunlop then had to see off the challenge of Derek McGee before securing his 18th TT win.
“The rest of the boys in the race ride their Twins all the time whereas I don’t and the Paton is a very different bike to what I’ve ridden in the past,” said Dunlop afterwards. “I had a few problems mid-race when the fuel cap came off and when I saw ‘P2’ and ‘P3’ on my pit boards, I knew it was time to up my game.”
“The plan was always to push in the second half of the race and I needed to be sensible in the first two laps as I know the Twins can be temperamental. Derek was riding a great race but when I saw ‘P1, +5’ at the Gooseneck on the last lap, I pushed on over the Mountain. People said I couldn’t ride a Twin and that I’d break the bike so it’s good to prove them wrong and add the Lightweight class to my collection of wins.”
The victory made up for the disappointment in the Supersport race held earlier in the day when Dunlop received a 30s penalty but he had no qualms with the punishment and duly accepted it.
“I’m not sure why the limiter was set so high so we only have ourselves to blame. I have no qualms with the penalty being issued and we’ll take it on the chin and move on.”