Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop just edged Jamie Coward to win his second Bennetts Lightweight TT in a row this evening, crossing the line on his Paton with a 1.299s advantage and just missing the lap record by three one-hundredths.
The two-lap sprint was a two-horse race between the pair and Coward was only seven-tenths in arrears at Cronk ny Mona at the final time of asking but took his first Isle of Man TT podium. Supersport race one winner Lee Johnston took third place.
Dunlop made the initial running, holding a 2.688s lead over Coward at Glen Helen with Gary Johnson in third, Stefano Bonetti in fourth and veteran Michael Rutter in fifth.
Coward knocked two-tenths out of the lead at Ballaugh while Johnston moved into fourth place but at Ramsey, Dunlop had really got the hammer down, extended his lead to just over four seconds.
However, that was reversed at the Bunglow as Coward hauled him back to a 0.262s lead and as the flashed across the line to end lap one, Coward had a 0.748s lead. Johnston was in third but out of the running as he was nearly eight seconds in arrears. Bonetti was two seconds further back with Johnson a distant fifth.
At Glen Helen on lap two, Dunlop cut the gap back to 0.472 while Paul Jordan replaced Johnson in fifth place. By the time Coward reached Ballaugh, he had only a 0.163s gap and at Ramsey, Dunlop was back in charge with a 1.431s lead.
As they passed the Bunglow, Coward had cut the gap back to 1.158s and it was 0.7s at Cronk ny Mona but Dunlop proved his pedigree and crossed the line with a 1.299s gap and a 122.75mph lap.
Johnston ended 24s behind with Jordan in fourth as Bonetti faltered and he was passed by Rutter who bagged fifth place.
Johnson ended up in seventh with Peter Hickman the lone Norton finisher in eighth. Team-mates John McGuinness and Davey Todd didn’t make the start of lap two with McPint stopping at Ballig Bridge and Todd retiring in the pits.
Dominic Herbertson finished in ninth with Horst Saiger in tenth.