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Dunlop sees off Hickman, Harrison to draw first blood in first Supersport TT race | Results

Tim Keeton/Impact Images

Michael Dunlop set himself up for a potential record-breaking race week on the 2023 Isle of Man TT by dismissing the challenge of Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison to clinch victory in the first Supersport TT race.

Fresh from his scene stealing lap record performance in the final Qualifying Practice session of the week on Friday evening, Dunlop kicked off his eight-race solo campaign in fine style with a flawless four lap display around the 37.7-mile Snaefell Mountain Course.

Quickly getting straight up to speed on the MD Racing Yamaha R6, a 128.305mph effort from a standing start first time around did the damage to Dunlop's rivals, leaving them too far adrift to make anything more than minor gains over the remaining three revolutions.


A tenth Supersport TT victory for Dunlop, the win brings his career tally on the TT to 22 wins. It places him just one behind John McGuinness, who holds second on the all-time list.

Though Harrison rallied hard in an attempt to close the gap down on Dunlop, he eventually faded coming into the fourth and final lap, slipping into the clutches of the steadily looming Hickman.

Aboard the K2 Trooper PHR Triumph STR765 RS, Hickman overcame a steady to start to work his way into contention before reeling Harrison in over the final lap. Coming into the final sector just tenths behind his rival, Hickman reached the line 0.3s ahead to snatch second.

Dunlop leaves them standing from the start

After five days of uninterrupted sunshine in the run up to the first of ten races that will comprise the largest-ever TT programme, there was no change to the script come Saturday afternoon either with warm conditions and no threat of rain.

It meant the race would come down to pure man and machine, with Dunlop - a double Supersport TT winner in 2022 - broadly regarded as a reasonable favourite on his well-proven MD Racing Yamaha R6 package.

However, with Dean Harrison swapping from Kawasaki to Yamaha machinery over the winter and Hickman putting in the hours to bring the nascent Triumph STR765 RS package up to scratch, there was no clear gauge on how the four lap would transpire.

In the end, the race - though more than 1hr 10mins in duration - was largely won right there in the opening ten minutes, as Dunlop, starting sixth on the running order, instantly wound the R6 up to speed to eat handfuls of seconds from Harrison's benchmarks through the initial splits.

Pulling more than five seconds on Harrison by the time the riders came back past the Grandstand to start lap two, Dunlop upper the momentum, moving +11.2secs ahead by Ramsey, becoming +13.4secs as he peeled into the pit-lane for his fuel stop.

Though Harrison maintained the tempo to keep Dunlop honest enough, he couldn't make significant headway into Dunlop's lead during the second-half of the race, his attention instead turning to defending second from a fast-approaching Hickman.


It freed up Dunlop to come in easy across the line for the fourth and final time, taking the flag to cement his status as the most accomplished middleweight racer at the TT.

Hickman pips Harrison for second by +0.3s

As Harrison focused on Dunlop ahead, behind him came the looming threat of Hickman on his Triumph.

A rider that has admitted he takes too long to find his rhythm on a Supersport machine in the past, for Hickman it was a case of history repeating as he quickly dropped away from the lead battle and occupied himself with a fight for third with Jamie Coward instead.

However, Hickman steadily gathered momentum as the race wore on, leaving Coward well behind to start reeling Harrison in up ahead.


Six seconds down at the half-way point, the gap between the pair was down to three seconds coming into the final lap. From here, Hickman kept nibbling away, getting to within just 0.189s by the time he'd reached Bungalow.

By Cronk Ny Mona, Hickman had nosed ahead for the first time, a margin he'd cling onto across the line to leapfrog Harrison for second. 

Behind the top trio, KTS Racing Steadplan's Coward set himself up for what many are tipping to be a breakthrough TT for him by holding onto fourth position, resisting the attentions of Davey Todd, who couldn't quite wrest the position off his rival to finish just under three seconds behind.

James Hillier came on strong in the closing stages to complete the top six on the Boyce Precision/Russell Racing Yamaha, from Paul Jordan (Prez Racing by Prosper Yamaha), while David Johnson, Rob Hudson and James Hind completed the top ten.

Of those to hit problems, high profile retirees included Dominic Herbertson, Philip Crowe and Mike Browne, while Conor Cummins - a Supersport podium winner last year - failed to start after being hospitalised by an illness, thus ruling him out of the first few races at least.

2023 Isle of Man TT - Supersport TT Race 1 FULL RESULTS

2023 Isle of Man TT - Supersport TT Race 1 - RESULTS [Sat 03/06/2023]
1Michael DunlopMD RacingYamaha R6
2Peter HickmanK2 Trooper by PHRTriumph ST765RS
3Dean HarrisonDAO RacingYamaha R6
4Jamie CowardKTS RacingYamaha R6
5Davey ToddMilenco by PadgettsHonda CBR600RR
6James HIllierBoyce Precision/Russell Yamaha R6
7Paul JordanPrez Racing by ProsperYamaha R6
8David JohnsonC&L Fairburn JacksonHonda CBR600RR
9Rob HodsonSMTYamaha R6
10James HindBass Tyre ServicesYamaha R6
11Craig NeveBathams RacingTriumph ST765RS
12Michael EvansAGR MotorsportHonda CBR600RR
13Shaun AndersonTeam KiboshHonda CBR600RR
14Michal DokoupilRocknetYamaha R6
15Brian McCormackGlobal RobotsTriumph ST765RS
16Joey ThompsonSeventy Four RacingYamaha R6
17Baz FurberClem DaviesKawasaki ZX-6R
18Pierre Yves BianK2 Trooper by PHRTriumph ST765RS
19Stefano BonettiGomma RacingYamaha R6
20Richard WilsonTeam KiboshHonda CBR600RR
21Jonathan GoetschyGoetschy RacingYamaha R6
22Ryan Cringle
23James ChawkeB&W / Lady B RacingKawasaki ZX-6R
24Tom Weeden
25Julian TrummerWH Racing with DynobikeYamaha R6
26Michael RussellFraser Evans Tyre RecyclingKawasaki ZX-6R
27Stephen ParsonsCHB SurfacingKawasaki ZX-6R
28Jonathan PerryThe People's BikeHonda CBR600RR
29Mark Parrett
30Forest DunnForest DunnYamaha R6
31Allan VenterLekka Racing Honda CBR600RR
32Amalric BlancTeam B&M / Team Gazzz 58Kawasaki ZX-6R
33Mark GoodingsIPG Power GenerationYamaha R6
34Martin MorrisObsession EngineeringKawasaki ZX-6R
35Xavier DenisPerformanX Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-6R
36Paul Potchy WilliamsPotchy's MOT StationTriumph Daytona 675R
37Jorge HallidayStanford HallidayYamaha R6
38Paul CassidyIsland FuelsYamaha R6
39Jack PetrieAM TilingYamaha R6
40David BrookBrook MotorsportYamaha R6
41Masayuki YamanakaTeam ILRHonda CBR600RR
42Craig SzczypekOxman CarpentryKawasaki ZX-6R
DNFTimothee Monot
DNFRhys Hardisty
DNFGary VinesAtherstone Accident RepairHonda CBR600RR
DNFJamie CringleAGR MotorsportsHonda CBR600RR
DNFDominic HerbertsonF.W. CowtonKawasaki ZX-6R
DNFMike BrowneBurrows Engineering RKYamaha R6
DNFRaul Torras MartinezEcubitt PerformanceYamaha R6
DNFPhillip CroweTruelove RacingYamaha R6
DNSConor CumminsMilenco by PadgettsHonda CBR600RR
DNSMatt StevensonDafabet RacingYamaha R6
DNSMatthieu LagriveOptimark Road RacingYamaha R6

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