Video report by Isle of Man reporter Joshua Stokes
Peter Hickman took his 12th victory at the Isle of Man TT after two of the frontrunners were forced to retire.
Fan-favourite Michael Dunlop set an early lead in the first lap, coming off the back of his first Supertwin race earlier in the week.
However, his efforts came to an end after a mechanical issue with the bike forced him to retire on the mountain section of the course.
After two laps, it was similar heartbreak for Mike Browne who was forced to retire after a fault.
It left Hickman to take the lead, with Pierre-Yves Bian in second, and Josh Brookes in third.
Riding his own PHR Performance Yamaha, Hickman came home 47.7 seconds ahead of Pierre-Yves Bian and Josh Brookes, both TT podium debutantes, to move alongside Kiwi Bruce Anstey on 12 TT wins.
As expected, Dunlop led through Glen Helen on the opening lap, but it was tight as his advantage over Browne was just one second with Hickman a further 3.5 seconds further adrift.
Jamie Coward slotted into fourth ahead of Stefano Bonetti and Brookes, but Paul Jordan was already out, having stopped at Harold’s, just before Gorse Lea.
Coward was also in trouble, stopping at Kirk Michael and although he got going again, he retired shortly afterwards but, at the head of the field, Dunlop was pressing ahead and after extending his lead to 3.3 seconds at Ballaugh.
The gap went out to 5.2 seconds at Ramsey Hairpin for the first time. Hickman was still running in third, 9.2 seconds behind Browne but 8 seconds ahead of new fourth-placed rider Brookes.
However, drama soon followed and as Dunlop left the Bungalow, he begun to slow down eventually retiring.
That promoted Browne into the lead and with an opening lap of 121.069mph he led Hickman by 11.6 seconds as the riders made their mandatory pit stop, Brookes completing the lap in third ahead of Bian, Bonetti and Dominic Herbertson.
Rob Hodson, Michael Rutter, Barry Furber and Michael Evans completed the top ten but there were further changes as Brookes lost considerable time as he left the pits and dropped down the order. Rutter was another rider in trouble and retired at the pits.
With the flurry of activity towards the end of lap one, the race settled down by the time the riders reached Glen Helen second time around and Browne now led Hickman by 12.1s.
Brookes’ problems at the pits dropped him back to seventh and that meant Bian was now running in third from Herbertson, Bonetti and Hodson.
At Ballaugh, Browne had stretched his lead to 13.8s with almost three more seconds added to his advantage round Ramsey Hairpin but whilst he and Hickman were looking comfortable in first and second, only 17s covered new third placed rider Herbertson, Bian, Bonetti, Hodson and Brookes.
Browne still led at the Grandstand, but more drama followed as he retired almost immediately after crossing the line with clutch problems and that meant Hickman was now in the lead of a TT once more.
The race for what was now the final two podium places was continuing to rage as 17s covered Herbertson, Bian, Bonetti and Brookes.
Hickman’s lead was more than 40 seconds sweeping through Glen Helen for the third and final time and although Herbertson and Bian were running in third, Brookes was taking time out of both of them through each sector.
Drama followed again though with Herbertson going out at Barregarrow.
In what was proving to be a race of attrition, Hickman now led on the roads and with Brookes having overhauled Bian on the road once more, he quickly opened a gap as he closed in on second place.
He was still seconds adrift though as they made the final Mountain climb.
Hickman duly came home for the victory, his eventual winning margin 47.7 seconds, and it was Bian who claimed second as he held off Brookes by two seconds.
Bian’s podium was the first TT rostrum finish by a rider from mainland Europe since German Helmut Dahne in 1986.
Bonetti repeated his fourth-place finish from 2018 with Hodson and Barry Furber taking personal best TT finishes in fifth and sixth respectively.
The same applied to the remainder of the top ten which was completed by Michael Evans, Francesco Curinga, Michal Dokoupil and Michael Russell.
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