William Dunlop narrowly prevailed in a sensational opening Supersport race at Armoy on Friday evening as he edged out his brother Michael in a nail-biting finish by only 0.007 seconds.
In one of the closest races ever witnessed around the three-mile course, William made a break at the front on his IC Racing Yamaha R6 with Derek Sheils on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Honda giving chase.
Manxman Dan Kneen was holding third on the Mar-Train Yamaha on the opening lap ahead of Christian Elkin, with Michael Dunlop on his MD Racing Yamaha in fifth.
Thirteen-time Isle of Man TT winner Michael was on the move though and began to scythe his way through the field, hauling himself into third after three laps as he set his sights on Sheils.
Dunlop was 1.8 seconds down on his brother with two laps remaining, but the 27-year-old clocked the fastest lap of the race in 1m 44.411 seconds to slash the deficit to 0.9 seconds as he moved into second place with one lap to go.
He closed onto the rear wheel of the Yamaha frontrunner on the final lap but William managed to keep his nose in front on the blast to the line to seal his third consecutive victory in the Friday night Supersport race at Armoy.
Behind the Dunlop boys, Sheils took third for John Burrows’ team, 1.7 seconds back, with Kneen next in fourth ahead of Elkin and Skerries man Michael Sweeney.
Pole man Derek McGee failed to start the race on his Yamaha.
The Mullingar rider had earlier topped the Supersport times from Sheils and William and Michael Dunlop.