Isle of Man TT: Dunlop edges Coward to win Supertwins race
Michael Dunlop took his 19th Isle of Man TT win by repeating last year's victory in the Lightweight race for Supertwins.
In a race reduced to two laps from four, the Ballymoney rider pipped Jamie Coward by 1.3 seconds after a race-long battle, with Lee Johnston third.
Dunlop's final lap of 122.46mph was marginally outside his own lap record.
The 30-year-old had endured a disappointing TT, having failed to finish on the podium in four races.
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Dunlop had taken a fourth place, a fifth position and two sixth spots in his previous race outings this week.
"I was starting to think I would never be in the enclosure for the top three again, let alone the winner's spot," said Dunlop after the race.
"It has been a hard week. I've been struggling for track time and my wrist injury has been bothering me too.
"The Paton guys have done everything I could have wanted and I was pushing hard. The race was good.
"I was wondering whether I had lost it but I'm getting closer to my best form again."
The victory takes the Northern Irishman to within seven wins of his uncle Joey's all-time record of 26 and just four shy of the tally achieved by John McGuinness.
It also takes the number of triumphs racked up by the Dunlop family to 50 as Michael's late father Robert also enjoyed five successes at the event.
Dunlop led for most of lap one but Kawasaki-mounted Coward moved 0.7 seconds ahead by the end of the opening circuit, only for Dunlop to claw his way back again and seal a first TT win of the week.
Coward, 28, from Hebden Bridge, was chasing a maiden TT win.
Dunlop's compatriot Paul Jordan finished in a very creditable fourth, with Michael Rutter fifth and Stefano Bonetti sixth.
Meanwhile, Friday's Senior TT has been brought forward to 10:00 BST because of a poor weather forecast for much of the day.