Classic TT: Dunlop dominates Superbike race

Northern Ireland's Michael Dunlop completes a Bank Holiday double with victory in the Motorsport Merchandise Classic Superbike race on the Isle of Man, setting a new lap record of 126.808mph.

Classic TT: Dunlop dominates Superbike race

MICHAEL Dunlop wrapped up a sensational double as he powered to his fourth career Classic TT triumph in the feature Motorsport Merchandise Classic Superbike race on Monday. 

Dunlop, who had set the pace in practice on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69, established a new lap record on lap two of 126.808mph, bettering Bruce Anstey's 126mph mark from 2015. He also shattered his old race record by almost 40 seconds. 

The Ballymoney rider led all the way to win from Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) by 19.2 seconds, with James Hillier on the Greenall Kawasaki ZXR750 completing the top three. 

By Ramsey on lap one, Dunlop's advantage was six seconds over Harrison, with Hillier a further two seconds back in third and Dan Kneen holding fourth, only 2.5 seconds behind Hillier. 

Dunlop's opening lap of 125.872mph saw him increase his lead to 7.3 seconds, while Harrison posted a lap in 125.026mph to become the fastest ever rider on a 750cc machine around the Mountain Course, taking over the mantle from Jim Moodie, who held the previous record from 1999, when he lapped at 124.45mph on a Honda RC45. 

Manx rider Kneen retired from fourth place at Glen Darragh on lap two, promoting Ivan Lintin into fourth on the Devitt RC Express Kawasaki. Steve Mercer was also an early retirement on the Mistral Kawasaki on lap one at Sulby. 

Dunlop extended his cushion to 18.3 seconds on the second lap, but Harrison slashed the deficit after opting not to fit a new rear tyre during the pit stop, with Dunlop's stop taking longer as his crew fitted some fresh rubber on the rear of the big Suzuki. 

At Glen Helen on lap three, his lead was now only two seconds over Harrison, with Hillier still third and Michael Rutter now improving to fourth on Roger Winfield's Harris Yamaha. 

However, Dunlop soon put the hammer down and at Ramsey he had some breathing space with a lead of eight seconds, which he had increased to 13.1 seconds at the end of the lap. 

The 27-year-old pulled further clear on the fourth and last lap, with 16 seconds the difference at Glen Helen over Bradford rider Harrison, while Hillier was safe in third, 16 seconds further in arrears. Rutter and Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Yamaha YZR500 were the top five. 

Dunlop maintained a strong pace over the final lap, ending with a speed of 125.348mph to seal his second victory of the day after his earlier win in the Okells Junior race on the Black Eagle MV Agusta. 

Harrison consolidated second position ahead of Hillier, while Rutter held onto fourth ahead of Jamie Coward and Austrian Horst Saiger, who completed the top six. Kiwi Anstey suffered misfortune after stopping at Glentramman on his final lap on the Yamaha GP machine, while Ivan Lintin retired at Signpost Corner. 

William Dunlop (Kawasaki ZXR750), Conor Cummins on the Padgetts Yamaha OW01 and Danny Webb (Team Classic Suzuki XR69) finalised the top 10. 

Dean Harrison, James Hillier, Jamie Coward and Horst Saiger were later excluded from the results due to 'technical infringements'. The quartet had finished second, third, fifth and sixth respectively on their Kawasaki machines. Michael Rutter moved to second place in the revised results, with William Dunlop promoted to third. Conor Cummins, Gary Johnson and Danny Webb made up the top six. 

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