Michael Dunlop responded to pressure from second as Peter Hickman mounted a late charge to go even faster around the island course, winning the second Supersport race at the Isle of Man TT 2023 with a flurry of new records in response, with Joey Dunlop’s 26 wins now firmly in his sights as Michael moves onto 25 victories.

Isle of Man TT races - The big debate

Riding his own MD Racing machine in his fourth race of the meet, the #6 plated rider was in tune with his bike and was already just a tenth behind Dean Harrison, who was initially second to Dunlop, the first time they reached Glen Helen.

Leading from the outset, the Yamaha rider was comfortable and confident on the bike and survived sustained pressure from Peter Hickman, known for his road racing pace.

Early in the race it was close on the track, with just under two seconds covering the top four riders.

Starting from tenth, the riders in front were more like traffic for the BSB regular than a carrot to chase, but once free he was able to slash the gap to 7.79s at the start of lap four, through Glen Helen again as he ran flat out.

Dunlop replied, he started fast - his first lap was 128.809mph - but went on to set a new best speed record of 130.403mph, as well as a new lap record and race record for he Supersport class as he responded to the chase.

The win sees Dunlop surpass John McGuinness’s 24 wins and move tantalisingly close to Joey Dunlop’s record of 26 wins, with three more races still to come.

Hickman, also running his own bike - a PHR Triumph Daytona, couldn’t match Dunlop one he pulled the pin, but was still fast - also setting a lap over 130mph on his final run.

Dean Harrison was back on track after not featuring in the Supertwin, and immediately back on the podium for Boyce Precision Engr/Russell Racing. He reached every checkpoint first so had no marker to chase and finished the race third, also inside the old lap record.

Davey Todd was fifth behind Jamie Coward, but finding Hickman on track gave him the opportunity to gain a tow and a place for his Milenco by Padgett’s Honda team.

Coward finished fifth on his Yamaha, another solid performance building on his podium in the Supertwin race.

There was an anxious wait for sixth to be announced as 14th starter James Hind on the Bass Tyre Services Yamaha was out of sync with the frontrunners but running a fair pace down the track. It is his first top six finish.

He pushed back Paul Jordan's PreZ Racing by Prosper² Yamaha to seventh.

It was a similar story for Craig Neve, who launched 20th but made up time once on the mountain course to finish with the eighth best time for Bathams Racing on his Triumph - a career best finish.

Australian David Johnson lead the way as the first rider to be released on track and benefitted from being surrounded by fast riders, picking up time in the closing stages to move back into the top ten, just 0.868s behind Neve.

Dominic Herbertson once again had issues in the mandatory pit stop held at half way, but kept his cool to get back on track as quickly as possible so was able to claim the final slot inside the top ten finishers for Dafabet Racing Yamaha.

Away from the frontrunners, Michael Russell saw his hopes of ten finishes end after running out of fuel in the sidecar race in the morning. This time out, on the Fraser Evans Tyre Recycling Kawasaki, he was beset wuth more bad fortune and again failed to finish the race after pulling into the pits late in the race in the hope of a fix that was not to be.

There were three TT first timers in the race, Ryan Cringle (AGR Motorsports Triumph) ,Jorge Halliday (Stanford Halliday Racing Kawasaki) and Jack Petrie (AM Tiling Yamaha). Cringle fared the best in 18th with the others taking the flag in 34th and 35th respectively.