Michael Dunlop smashed his own lap and race records in a thrilling second Supersport race on Wednesday afternoon at the 2013 Isle of Man TT Races to remain unbeaten for the week and become only the third rider to win four races in a week.
A stunning final lap of 128.667mph gave the 24-year old a 2.3s victory over long time race leader Bruce Anstey to make it four wins from four races with the second HM Plant Padgetts Honda of John McGuinness in third.
“I said before I came here that a 128mph would be required to win a Supersport race and that’s what happened,” said Dunlop.
“I pushed so hard on that final lap and lost the front a few times, especially at the Bungalow, but just went for it all the way. I knew Bruce would be fired up after Monday’s race and he was really on it at the beginning so it was hard work to keep in touch.
"I lost ground at the pit stop but then dug deep and the wee bike came good. It didn’t feel great at the beginning but the engine and chassis were mint and it’s good to give Simon Buckmaster’s PTR team another win as they’ve been struggling in the World Championship!”
“I knew I had to get a good start,” admitted Anstey, “and gave it my all throughout. I don’t know what I’ve got to do beat Michael but he’s riding brilliantly at the moment so fair play to him. I couldn’t do anything about him on that last lap but maybe if I was 20 years younger I’d be able to turn the tables!”
It was Anstey who set the early pace, his opening lap of 126.476mph giving him a 3.5s lead over Dunlop with brother William now almost three seconds further back in third. McGuinness was lying in fourth ahead of Guy Martin and the ever-impressive Dean Harrison.
The duo at the head of the field practically matched each other all the way round the second 37 and ¾ miles but Anstey continued to lead, his lap of 127.817mph just a fraction outside Dunlop’s lap record from 2010.
The gap had crept up to 4.47s with the Dunlops in second and third, McGuinness in fourth, Cameron Donald in fifth and Hillier still in sixth. However, the HM Plant/Padgetts crew got Anstey out from the pit stop in super quick time, his lead shooting up to nine seconds.
Going into the final lap, Anstey still held sway by just over four seconds and he led on the road too but with Dunlop now having clear track, having passed McGuinness, Hillier and Donald, he ate into the gap at all of the timing points.
He hit the front for the first time at Ballaugh, his lead now 1.5s but he had to work all the way to the chequered flag and it needed that sensational new lap record to see off the strong challenge of Anstey, the difference at the end of 150 miles of racing just 2.3s. Dunlop’s race record was also a staggering 28s inside the previous best.
McGuinness went quicker than ever before on a 600cc machine, posting his first 127mph lap in the class, to pinch the final podium spot from William Dunlop by 0.967s with Donald also joining the 127mph club in fifth.
Hillier’s strong week continued with another sixth place with Harrison, Martin, Gary Johnson and Conor Cummins completing the top ten.