TT 2018: Michael Dunlop claims 18th win in Lightweight race for terrific treble

Michael Dunlop on the Paton in the Lightweight TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Paton in the Lightweight TT.

Michael Dunlop hammered the Lightweight lap record as he secured his 18th Isle of Man TT win on Wednesday, completing a terrific treble.

The Ballymoney man followed up his Superbike and Supersport triumphs with his first in the Lightweight class at the TT on the Italian Paton machine.

Derek McGee finished as the runner-up on the KMR Kawasaki.

Derek McGee finished as the runner-up on the KMR Kawasaki.

Dunlop’s success means he has now won for six different manufacturers around the Mountain Course, taking victories for Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW and now Paton.

The 29-year-old established a new lap record at 122.750mph on the fourth and final lap as he broke the challenge of Mullingar man Derek McGee, who was celebrating his maiden podium at the TT for Ryan Farquhar’s KMR Kawasaki team.

Michael Rutter, who won the race on a Paton last year, was third, completing the race 1m 32.981s behind.

Ivan Lintin led at the end of lap one by 5.7 seconds from McGee, with Dunlop only one second further behind.

The Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki rider set a new lap record of 121.60mph from a standing start, with McGee (121.904mph) and Dunlop (121.86mph) also under James Hillier’s old lap record of 120.848mph.

Lintin’s lead was up to 6.2 seconds at Ramsey over Dunlop, who had overhauled McGee to move into second place.

However, Lintin went through Cronk-ny-Mona at the end of the lap but the race leader was soon reported as a retirement at Bedstead.

Dunlop was now four seconds ahead of McGee as they came in for their pit stops after raising the lap record to 122.25mph, but he lost time in the pits, with McGee leading by 2.5 seconds as they headed out on their third lap.

McGee had a slender advantage of 1.5 seconds at Ballaugh but by the time they reached Ramsey Hairpin, Dunlop had forged ahead by 1.2 seconds, with Peter Hickman into third on the KMR Kawasaki ahead of Rutter.

Dunlop’s lead had increased slightly to 1.6 seconds at the end of the lap but the Ulster rider really upped the ante on the fourth lap.

He was 5.4 seconds up at Glen Helen and pulled more time at Ballaugh, leading by 8.5 seconds.

At Ramsey Hairpin, Dunlop now had 11.7 seconds in hand and he refused to slacken off as he powered to another lap record, winning by 14.6 seconds at the end from McGee, with Rutter 1m 10.6s down in third. Dunlop also set a new race record in a time of 1h 15m 05.032s.

Stefano Bonetti was fourth ahead of Joey Thompson and Ian Lougher, all riding Patons.

Skerries man Michael Sweeney was seventh ahead of Adam McLean on the Hanna Kawasaki.

James Cowton had been in podium contention on the McAdoo Kawasaki after two laps but was forced out with an engine problem.

Meanwhile, Czech rider Kamil Holan crashed at Greeba Castle. He was reported as conscious and was taken by airmed to Noble’s Hospital with a suspected ankle injury.