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TT 2018: Dunlop wins record-breaking Superbike TT after Harrison retirement

Published: 02 June 2018

Michael Dunlop took his 16th Isle of Man TT victory in a record-breaking RST Superbike race.

The Tyco BMW star took victory by a comfortable margin after rival Dean Harrison, who shattered the outright lap record on his opening lap, retired on lap four.

Having already shown he could fly out of the blocks, Harrison took the lead at Glen Helen on the opening lap, 3.7 seconds ahead of Dunlop on with Smiths BMW’s Peter Hickman slotting into third.

The Silicone Engineering Kawasaki was singing for Harrison as he smashed the outright lap record from a standing start at the end of the lap with a mind-blowing 134.432mph.

That blistering pace saw Harrison sit 11.3 seconds ahead of Dunlop at the end of the opening lap and it was Conor Cummins on the Padgetts Honda who sat third after a retirement for Peter Hickman at the Grandstand.

Another 134mph lap (134.180mph) for Harrison saw him stretch out a 16.379 second lead at the Grandstand on lap two, but after a slick pitstop from the Tyco BMW team Dunlop started closing in on the race leader.

The Ballymoney ace took a chunk off Harrison’s lead with the gap just 11.5 seconds at the end of lap three, but it was over the next two sectors where Dunlop made the most ground as he more than halved the gap.

It was shaping up to be a TT classic over the final two laps, but it would reach a premature end with Harrison retiring at the Sulby Crossroads as Dunlop continued to chase him down on lap four.

Harrison’s retirement saw Cummins move up to second with James Hillier inheriting the final podium spot.

David Johnson took a strong fourth for Gulf BMW ahead of Michael Rutter while Honda’s Lee Johnston rounded out the top six.

Martin Jessopp was seventh ahead of Ivan Lintin with a strong ride for Phil Crowe in ninth. Josh Brookes rounded out the top ten on the Norton.

RST SUPERBIKE RACE

  1. Michael Dunlop – Tyco BMW
  2. Conor Cummins – Padgetts Honda
  3. James Hiller – Quattro JG Speedfit Kawasaki
  4. David Johnson – Gulf BMW
  5. Michael Rutter – Bathams BMW
  6. Lee Johnston – Honda Racing
  7. Martin Jessopp – Riders Motorcycles BMW
  8. Ivan Lintin – Dafabet Devitt Racing
  9. Phil Crowe – Fleetwood Grab BMW
  10. Josh Brookes – Norton Motorcycles 
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