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Dunlop sweeps to 23rd TT win in Superbike Race

Another comprehensive win puts him level on victories with John McGuinness

Michael Dunlop swept to a second commanding win of TT 2023 as he took a comprehensive win in today's RST Superbike Race (4 June).

It takes Dunlop to 23 TT victories overall, level with John McGuinness in the all-time winners standings.

Elsewhere Peter Hickman secured second with a final lap just outside outright lap record pace with Dean Harrison making up the podium in third.

The story of the opening stages of the race belonged to Dunlop who set a new superbike lap record on lap one from a standing start at 134.519mph to lead by 6.3 seconds from Dean Harrison in second as Peter Hickman and Davey Todd traded places in the opening lap in an entertaining battle for third.

By the time the first pit stops took place at the end of lap two, Dunlop had smashed the superbike lap record again at 135.046mph whilst opening up a 14.6 second gap to Harrison in second, meanwhile Hickman was now building a cushion to Todd to take control of third position.

Into the halfway point and Dunlop took his advantage to over 20 seconds from Harrison - elsewhere in the contest, there was disappointment for podium hopeful Todd who retired from the race going into lap three.

Todd's retirement meant Hickman continued to establish his podium spot in third as he opened his gap to new fourth-placed man, James Hillier, to just under one minute with Jamie Coward completing the top five at that stage just under ten seconds ahead of John McGuinness.

The leading trio held a comfortable advantage at the time of the fourth-lap second pit stop but there was an intriguing battle taking place in behind as Hillier and Coward continue to joust in the remaining top five spots going into the final two circuits.

Another battle was growing for second and third on the penultimate lap as Hickman started to eat into the times of Harrison in second with a blistering final stage of the contest to take himself to within outright lap record pace and overhaul Harrison to move into second.

Elsewhere Dunlop, having dominated from the start, let off the pace slightly on the final lap to bring the Hawk Racing Honda home and did so to take his 23rd TT win.

Meanwhile there was a tense wait for second-placed Hickman on Glencrutchery Road to see if he could eclipse the outright lap record, but he would finish just outside that major marker at 135.445mph, with the record standing at 135.452mph, to snatch the superbike lap record.

The next day of racing is on Tuesday, 6 June, with the Superstock TT Race 1 at 11.45am followed by the Supertwin TT Race 1 at 2pm.

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