TT 2022: Dunlop to ‘keep pushing’ even after 20th win

| | TT and Roads
Picture: Impact Images

After the frustrations of ‘only’ finishing third in Saturday’s Superbike race, Michael Dunlop was back in the number one spot at the Isle of Man TT on Monday, taking first place in the opening Supersport race for his 20th win in total.

While keeping him in third place on the overall winner’s list, Dunlop’s win, when he also set a new lap record, on his own MD Racing Yamaha means he’s just the third rider in history to take 20 wins after Uncle Joey (26) and John McGuinness (23).

Fastest in qualifying, Dunlop was involved in a titanic battle throughout the three laps with DAO Kawasaki’s Dean Harrison, particularly during laps two and three after the mandagtory pit stop after lap one.

An opening lap of 126.92mph gave him a 3.2s lead over Harrison and although the Ballymoney man was consistently quicker from Ballaugh to Ramsey, there was just 1.2s between the two riders going into the final lap.

That came down to just a tenth of a second at one stage but Dunlop responded and a new lap record of 129.47mph, breaking his own mark of 129.197mph from 2018, saw him prevail by a more comfortable 5.6s.

“There’s life in the old dog yet and I can’t thank the boys enough,” he said afterwards. “There’s lots of work gone in to the bike as we had to switch my 600cc mechanic to the big bike. I got caught badly by the boys in front of me during the race and when I overtook them, they got sucked along in the tow.

“Dean’s a fast lad, I know that, and knew I had to get going if I was to get another win. That’s 20 in total now so I’ll just keep pushing.”