Victory on Sunday in the Superbike class was his 23rd career race win at the TT, equalling John McGuinness’ tally, and putting him just three behind his uncle Joey Dunlop who holds the all-time record.

Pivotally for Dunlop, this was a first Superbikes win in five years.

Isle of Man TT races - The big debate

"People thought I couldn't win on the big bikes any more," Dunlop told BBC.

"I might not seem it or look like it, but I'm delighted to prove I can still win on the big bike.

"People doubted me and my big bike ability but Steve and Stuart [Hicken, OF Hawk Racing team] believed in me.

"They told me to get the best out of the bike and assured me that I've still got it.

"No matter what happens now, I've won a big bike race again.

"I have to say thanks to the Hickens for putting a great package under me. It was tough, it never gets any easier, but the bike felt good and I felt good. I'm happy.

"I built up a lead, managed it and rolled it off heavily on the last lap, then I saw the gap coming down and some waved yellow flags came out.

"I was so nervous about trying to keep it going."

Dunlop finished 8.2s ahead of Peter Hickman on Sunday.

A day earlier he won the Supersport race, and last week he broke the unofficial lap record during qualifying.

He has six further opportunities at this year’s event to chase his uncle Joey’s total of 26 TT wins.

Dunlop said: "I'm not worried about the record, to be level with John McGuinness is fantastic though. 

"John is a great ambassador for motorcycling in general.

"I'll just continue to ride hard and enjoy it."

McGuinness, who finished sixth in the Superbike race then embraced Dunlop for matching his tally afterwards, said: "It's an amazing achievement by Michael. 

“I spent a lot of time with him in 2013 when we were team-mates and he deserves all the plaudits that come his way.”