Peter Hickman won his first ever Supersport TT as the Smiths Racing rider chalked up his second victory of race week on Thursday.
The race was held over two laps instead of four, with the organisers cutting laps in order to try and cram in a packed schedule after the programme was badly hit by weather delays this week on the Isle of Man.
It was English rider Hickman’s fourth win around the Mountain Course and comes after he also won the Superbike race on Monday, which was called a result after two laps following a fatal accident involving Daley Mathison.
Hickman, riding the Trooper Beer Smiths Triumph, became embroiled in a battle with Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki, who led by half-a-second at Glen Helen on the final lap.
However, Hickman had edged ahead by 0.3 seconds at Ballaugh Bridge and the gap remained the same at Ramsey hairpin.
Traditionally strong over the Mountain, Hickman increased his lead to 0.9 seconds at the Bungalow and from there he continued to pull further clear, crossing the line to win by 3.3 seconds from Harrison.
James Hillier was always in contention for the podium on his Quattro Plant/Wicked Coatings Kawasaki and the Hampshire rider completed the top three, finishing 4.5 seconds back.
Hickman clocked the fastest lap on his final circuit at 128.14mph to seal the win, with Harrison posting a speed of 128.02mph.
"I've been trying so hard to win a Supersport race here and I was quite close on Monday, but now I've done it I'm delighted," said Hickman.
"We've had some good input from Triumph this year, which has made a big difference.
"The bike was mega, absolutely awesome, I just had to get my finger out in the first few sectors.
"I've done 128mph laps in the Supersports before but given the lap of track time we've had it's pretty special. I've only had six laps on this bike during the entire fortnight."
Manx rider Conor Cummins was fourth on the Milenco by Padgett’s Honda ahead of Jamie Coward (Prez Racing Yamaha), while Michael Dunlop – a Supersport winner in 2018 – was sixth, 21.6 seconds down on Coward.
Last year’s top newcomer, Davey Todd, was only 0.4 seconds behind Dunlop on his Milenco by Padgett’s Honda as he produced another fine ride in only his second year at the event.
Gary Johnson (RAF Reserves Triumph) and Monday’s Supersport race winner, Lee Johnston (Ashcourt Yamaha) were eighth and ninth respectively, while Honda Racing’s David Johnson finalised the first ten.
His team-mate, Ian Hutchinson, was a retirement at Quarterbridge on the opening lap.
Magherafelt man Paul Jordan enjoyed a strong result as he finished 11th on the Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki ahead of Derek Sheils (Roadhouse Macau Yamaha).
John McGuinness, riding another of the Milenco by Padgett’s Honda machines, was down in 15th position.