Michael Dunlop has claimed a dramatic victory in the Lightweight TT beating Jamie Coward by less than two seconds in a thrilling Isle of Man TT battle.

The Paton rider clinches his 19th TT victory after defending his Lightweight title from 12 months ago but remains under constant threat from Coward hunting his maiden TT win.

Coward wrestled the lead from Dunlop at Cronk ny Mona on the opening lap and defended it up to Ballaugh on the second and final lap but conceded too much time in the charge to the Ramsey Hairpin to repeat the feat at the finish.

Coward slashed Dunlop’s advantage down to seven-tenths of a second at the second run past Cronk ny Mona but it wasn’t to be as the Paton rider won by 1.299s on adjusted times.

With 19 victories, Dunlop remains third on the all-time Isle of Man TT winners list but is just four behind John McGuinness and seven behind overall leader and uncle Joey Dunlop.

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Despite the frustrating finish, Coward still takes his first-ever TT podium in second place with opening Supersport TT winner Lee Johnston completing the podium on the Ashcourt Racing KMR Kawasaki, 22 seconds behind Coward, having kept clear of a late charge from Paul Jordan who settled for fourth place on the RC Express Dafabet Devitt Racing Kawasaki.

Michael Rutter jumped up to fifth place on the Bathams KMR Kawasaki to push North West 200 Lightweight winner Stefano Bonetti into sixth place in the charge to the Grandstand on the final lap.

Gary Johnson faded on Lap 2 to take seventh place for KMR Kawasaki ahead of the sole-surviving Norton of Peter Hickman as both team-mates Davey Todd and McGuinness retired with separate mechanical issues on the opening lap.

Dominic Herbertson produced an impressive charge to take ninth place on the Cowton Racing Kawasaki with Horst Saiger rounding out the top 10 for Team ILR Paton.