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Michael Dunlop - "Never settled into Senior TT, struggled from lap one"

Tim Keeton/Impact Images
Michael Dunlop, Hawk Racing, Honda CBR1000RR-R, 2023 TT, Isle of Man TT, podium, celebration, portrait [credit - Gold and Goose]

Michael Dunlop’s hopes of equalling Joey Dunlop’s record tally of 26 TT wins were dashed in last Saturday’s Senior when the Hawk Racing Honda rider could only manage third in the six-lap race.

With four wins earlier in the week, including a first Superbike victory since 2018 as well as a maiden 135mph+ lap, to move him onto a total of 25, much of the talk ahead of the Senior was whether or not he could draw alongside his famous uncle.

And with Peter Hickman also taking four wins, including a record-breaking Superstock race where he smashed his own outright lap record, the Blue Riband event had all the makings of a classic.


It wasn’t to be though as Dunlop never figured higher than third. 

Ten seconds down on the opening lap, Dunlop fell further behind his rival as the race progressed and was eventually overhauled on the road by Hickman, finishing the race some 40s adrift. He did, however, set a personal best lap of 135.259mph on the final lap.

“I struggled from lap one and never settled into it,” he openly said afterwards. “I thought the pace would be quick and although the bike never missed a best, I maybe made the wrong decision with set-up.

"I got caught in a rut and it took me until the fifth and sixth laps to get going.”

“I’m a bit disappointed with third but it wasn’t meant to be.

"I’ve won four races though which is good for the team and it’s good for me to be the second most successful rider ever.”

> 2023 Isle of Man TT Results - SBK, SSP, SSTK, STwins, Sidecar <

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