Joey Dunlop, for long the acknowledged 'King of the Roads', surpassed even his own legendary standards when he won the first three races at the TT in 2000, to bring his total wins to 26.
Celebrating his 25th TT year, Dunlop won the Duke Formula One race on the SP1 Honda. He followed that by winning the 250 Lightweight on the Bertie Payne Bitmac Honda that hadn't completed a decent practice lap. And he followed that with another start to finish victory in the 125cc Ultra Lightweight TT, which he won for the fifth time.
The 48-year-old publican from Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, was cheered to the echo all round the 37.73 mile Mountain Course and at the TT presentations. In addition to winning his three races, Joey was also awarded a replica of the Manx Sword of State by David Cretney MHK, the ex-Manx Grand Prix rider who was Minister of Tourism and Leisure.
In the Duke Formula One TT 'Yer Maun' was having a big dice with David Jefferies on the V&M Yamaha R7 until Jefferies motor blew at Ballig on the fifth lap. Dunlop, using all his TT experience in the tricky damp conditions in the early stages, was the leader for almost all the race.
The only time Jefferies grabbed the advantage was at the end of lap four when he was half a second in front. But Dunlop's refuelling stop was much quicker which put him back in front at Glen Helen on lap five. Joey went on to win his 24th TT with Michael Rutter taking second and John McGuinness third.
Monday's 250cc Lightweight TT was delayed for four hours, then reduced from four laps to three because of low cloud on Snaefell Mountain. Right from the start Joey built up an early lead over hot favourite John McGuinness. The Ulsterman's lead at Glen Helen was up to 13 seconds, but it was Bruce Anstey who was in second spot with McGuinness third.
When McGuinness retired on the third lap at Quarterbridge, Joey was clear and went on to win by 1 minute 7.2 seconds from Kiwi Anstey with Ian Lougher slotting into third.
TT victory No. 26 came in the Ultra Lightweight 125cc race, which tuned into an Ulster benefit as their riders filled the first five places.
Joey, the newly-elected president of the TT Riders Association, led all the way and won by 16.1 seconds from Denis McCullough. Joey set the pace from the start, with an opening lap of 108.56mph, the fastest of the race, and broke the opposition. In third was brother Robert, followed by Gary Dynes, Darran Lindsay and Ian Lougher filling sixth place.
Geoff McMullan, the winner of the Lightweight 400cc TT, was excluded after his FZR400 Yamaha engine was measured at 599.6cc. He was also fined £500 and excluded from the remaining races at TT 2000. His exclusion handed the race to Kiwi Brett Richmond who originally finished runner-up to McMullan. The shuffle brought Brian Gardiner into second place with Robert J. Price slotting into third.
The Singles TT was once again won by John McGuinness, who led throughout and headed a one-two for the Morris lads, Neil and Lee, who sponsored the AMDM specials in memory of their dad Dave, who was killed at Croft the previous autumn and mum Allison, who died a week later.
Morris had won the last three Singles TTs on a similar bike. McGuinness won by 47 seconds from his team mate Jason Griffiths with John Barton taking third at the end of the race.
David Jefferies broke Honda's five-year stranglehold on the 600 Junior TT when he completed the set of wins in each class he'd ridden in. On the V&M Yamaha, he took more than half a minute off the race record as he beat Honda rival Adrian Archibald by 8.7 seconds.
Jefferies, who won three TT's in 1999, but not the 600, led all the way and made up for the disappointment of retiring from the Formula One with clutch trouble. Getting faster on each lap Archibald cut Jefferies's lead on the final circuit when he pushed the lap record up to 121.15mph, 12.1 seconds inside Ian Simpson's three-year-old lap record. Third at the flag was Dave's team mate Ian Lougher.
Rob Fisher and Rick Long became only the second crew to lap the Mountain Circuit at more than 110mph when they cakewalked the opening sidecar TT. Fisher led throughout the three laps from Gary Horspole, with Kevin Leigh in the chair, and Stephen Norbury and Andy Smith taking third place.
Fisher and Long took their second Sidecar victory of TT 2000 two days later, having been secure runners-up in the wake of Ian Bell and Neil Carpenter until they went out on the last lap at the top of Barregarroo with 25 miles to go and holding a 12 second lead. The win gave Rob Fisher his eighth TT victory and third TT double. Third in the opening race, Steve Norbury, went one better to finish second with Ian Bell's brother Geoff and passenger Craig Hallam taking third.
David Jefferies won his second successive Senior TT, delayed until the Saturday due to the weather, giving himself back-to-back TT hat tricks. It was an emphatic performance by the ebullient Yorkshireman, leading from flag to flag in perfect sunny conditions and setting a new outright lap record on the sixth circuit at 125.69mph, over 1mph up on Jim Moodie's mark from 1999.
Joey finished second with teammate John McGuinness slotting into third at the end of 226 racing miles. Jim Moodie was controversially absent from the race after a dispute with Honda Britain over his 'too slow' FireBlade.
It is tragic to relate that the most momentous events affecting the TT races occurred miles away from the Isle of Man. On July 2nd, barely four weeks after yet another triple victory including an astonishing 26th TT win, Joey Dunlop was killed in an obscure road race meeting near Tallinn, Estonia.
When the motorcycle world turned out en masse to mourn its greatest and most enduring exponent, it little realised the effect it might have.