The despair of Monday’s crushing retirement from the opening Supersport race at the Isle of Man TT is all but a distant memory for Mountain marvel Michael Dunlop this morning, writes Kyle White .
The 24-year-old served a timely reminder of his mastery of the infamous road race course with a blistering victory in the second Monster Energy Supersport race on his Ard Na Mara Homes/McAdoo Yamaha R6.
It was a result that made up for the dismay of Monday’s setback, when he was forced out of the lead of the race while holding a commanding advantage.
The Ballymoney hero was simply too strong for his rivals, with Cameron Donald from Australia finishing as the runner-up on Wilson Craig’s Honda for the third time at TT 2012.
On a proud day for Northern Ireland, Ryan Farquhar was back on the rostrum after squeezing out Monday’s winner Bruce Anstey by one hundredth of a second to grab a superb third place on his KMR Kawasaki.
In contrast, there was heartache for early race leader William Dunlop, who retired at Kirk Michael on the opening lap on the second of Craig’s Honda machines.
His young brother, who achieved his debut victory in the Supersport class at the TT in 2009 before adding another success in the Superstock event a year ago, came under threat from Donald at the half-way point.
The Aussie had closed the gap to four seconds on lap three at the Bungalow, but Dunlop’s response was swift and decisive and he led by six seconds at the end of the lap.
The Ballymoney man extended his lead further with a sizzling final lap at 125.629mph to defeat Donald by 15 seconds.
“The trouble we had all week was unreal,” he said.
“We spent a lot of money on engines and I can’t say enough about everybody.
“It was the only way I could repay the team.
“The motor was awesome – everything worked great.”
Runner-up Donald – who will aim to improve one place in tomorrow’s showpiece Senior race as he bids to give Londonderry businessman Wilson Craig his first TT victory – said he was ‘proud’ to finish second.
“I’m just enjoying this TT and I’m very proud to finish second again,” said Donald. I can’t fault the bike and the team has worked great.”
The race was delayed from 1pm until 6.15pm to allow the roads around the Mountain circuit to dry out after showers on Wednesday morning.