Dunlop Completes Isle Of Man Hat Trick
Johnson wasn’t going to just hand the place to Dunlop, the man of the week so far, and he showed his Mountain Course prowess on the third lap when he doubled his lead to three seconds as they headed into the final lap. Martin’s challenge, which had been effectively ended by the penalty, came to a halt for good at Glen Duff on the third lap and so McGuinness was secure in third with Harrison likewise in fourth, the youngster on course for his best ever TT result.
As the fourth lap unfolded, Dunlop hit the front for the first time, his margin of lead at Glen Helen just .137-second but, with his foot having slipped off the pegs at Union Mills, Johnson’s charge for victory was all but over. Indeed, when the riders swept round Ramsey Hairpin for the final time, Dunlop’s lead was almost three seconds and this became seven through the Bungalow.
Dunlop was setting a scorching pace and as he took the chequered flag, his final lap was confirmed at 131.220 mph, comfortably inside the previous lap record of 130.741 mph set by Ian Hutchinson in 2010 and just three and a half seconds outside McGuinness’ outright lap record set on Saturday. His final winning margin was 16.4s with Johnson still delighted with second having pushed Dunlop for as long as he could.
McGuinness took a strong third, his 38th TT podium in total, with Harrison claiming an excellent fourth whilst Anstey edged out Hillier for fifth, the Kawasaki rider slipping back on the final lap as he began to lose power.
Steve Mercer took a superb eighth place, being the first privateer home in the process, with William Dunlop and Ben Wylie completing the top ten.
The results mean Dunlop comfortably leads the Joey Dunlop Championship on 75 points followed by McGuinness (45) and Anstey (39). Mercer is the pace setter in the TT Privateer’s Championship with the maximum 50 points from his two races with Dan Kneen (44) in second and Dan Cooper (39) in third.