until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Motorcycle racing

Dunlop's come-from-behind win makes Isle of Man TT history

by Simon Patterson
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Michael Dunlop has made history on the opening day of racing for the 2024 Isle of Man TT by taking his 26th win at the historic event.

Dunlop drew level with his uncle Joey at the top of the all-time winners list with a textbook win in Saturday afternoon’s first Supersport TT race - with Davey Todd finally making it onto the podium in second and with Dean Harrison in third.

The record had been set by Joey Dunlop in 2000 shortly before losing his life in a race in Estonia, and was one many thought would long remain unassailable. Now, it leaves his nephew on track to write his way into the history books - with a further seven chances to win this week.

Dunlop, who switched halfway through practice week from Triumph machinery to the old faithful Yamaha R6 that he’s dominated the class on in recent years, got off to something of a steady start, with Harrison and Todd setting the pace on the opening 37-mile lap of the race.

Michael Dunlop, Isle of Man TT

However, Dunlop soon turned up the pressure on the two English racers ahead of him to close the gap to only a second across the podium halfway around the second lap - and without the top three having seen each other since Harrison left the start line nearly half an hour before.

From there on, Dunlop was able to eke out his lead step by step until he had built up a safety net of a few seconds and, aided by a clean pitstop at mid-distance, was then able to simply manage the gap back to the Ducati of Todd in second place.

With Dunlop taking the chequered flag with a 8.5-second margin, emotional scenes followed in the winner’s enclosure as he struggled to find the words to sum up how important the victory was not just to him but to his family.

Michael Dunlop's TT wins

2009: Supersport TT (second race)
2011: Superstock TT
2012: Supersport TT (second race)
2013: Superbike TT, Superstock TT, Supersport TT (first and second race)
2014: Superbike TT, Superstock TT, Supersport TT (second race), Senior TT
2016: Superbike TT, Senior TT
2017: Supersport TT, Senior TT
2018: Superbike TT, Supersport TT (first race), Lightweight TT
2019: Lightweight TT
2022: Supersport TT (first and second race)
2023: Superbike TT, Supersport TT (first and second race), Lightweight TT (first race)
2024: Supersport TT (first race)

“It’s fantastic. I knew it was going to be tight, that’s for sure,” Dunlop said.

“We made a lot of changes, we had issues in practice and it just took me a couple of laps to bed in. But look, I assumed it was Davey [behind me] and Davey’s riding really well this week.

“He may be a bit frustrated, but he’s got that pace and to beat somebody like Davey round here with the form he’s in at the minute was tough going.

“I felt I was sore in the middle of the race and I was just biting the screen. To equal Joey’s record, it’s been something that’s been playing on our mind all week… well, on everyone’s mind, I think.

Michael Dunlop, Isle of Man TT

“Well, fantastic. No matter whatever happens in life now, everybody has always wanted to get to Joey’s record - and I’ve got to it. So, for me, that’s something special.”

Harrison came home a safe third, 22 seconds down on Todd, ahead of James Hillier, James Hind and returning former British Superbike champion Josh Brookes.

It was a more difficult day for Dunlop’s big pre-event rival Peter Hickman, who dropped through the running order to eventually finish 11th - but the 13-time winner and absolute lap record holder will have a chance to make amends on Sunday when the 1000cc machines take to the track for the first time in the opening Superbike TT race.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • More Networks