Dunlop double winner at Isle of Man Classic TT
Northern Ireland’s Michael Dunlop — who will race in New Zealand in December — was a double winner during the final day of Isle of Man Classic TT action overnight.
Dunlop — a 13-time winner in contemporary TT competition — rode an MV Agusta to a narrow 4secs victory ahead of Michael Rutter (Honda) in the morning’s 350cc Junior Classic TT and then delivered a record-breaking ride in the Superbike Classic TT.
The Superbike field was flagged away by New Zealand’s three-time TT winner Graeme Crosby and Dunlop had powered his Team Classic Suzuki 1100cc Suzuki XR 69 to the lead by the opening checkpoint at Glen Helen.
Michael Dunlop (Team Classic Suzuki) celebrates winning the Superbike race at the Classic TT yesterday. Photo STEPHEN DAVISON/Pacemaker Press
With a pit stop planned to change a rear wheel (as well as refuelling) at the mid-point of the four-lap race, Dunlop pushed hard on his second lap and sliced more than 5secs off the outright Classic TT lap record set last year by New Zealander Bruce Anstey. Dunlop’s lap was 17m 51.128s at an average speed of 126.808mph.
The win gives Dunlop back-to-back success after winning the Superbike Classic race last year.
‘‘It was really hard but I kept at it,’’ Dunlop said.
‘‘The big girl was working really well. I’ve got to thank Steve Wheatman and the boys for that. People don’t understand how hard it is to ride that. Realistically it is hard work and the bike is a pig but it’s my pig.’’
On his ride to second place on a Kawasaki 750, Dean Harrison set the fastest ever 750cc lap time at 18m 02.189s (125.512mph). James Hillier on another Kawasaki 750 finished 17secs further back in third.
Anstey, who won the inaugural 250cc Lightweight TT on Saturday was a slow starter on his Valvoline/Padgetts Racing Yamaha YZR 500 GP machine. He was eighth at the end of lap one and had climbed to fifth position before the bike stopped on the final lap.
The 2016 Classic TT action is now completed but the Manx Grand Prix races for amateur riders continue on Wednesday and Friday this week.