Tyco BMW rider Michael Dunlop scored an emotional win in Saturday’s Superbike TT, his 16thcareer victory around the daunting Isle of Man course, after main rival Dean Harrison’s Kawasaki broke down at half distance.
Harrison had been in sensational form in practice week, becoming only the second rider (after Dunlop) to dip under the mythical 17 minute lap time, while Dunlop kept his cards close to his chest throughout qualifying.
Harrison continued that form into the six-lap superbike race, breaking the outright lap record from a standing start on lap one, as he scolded away to a 16:50.384 lap, setting a new record on every single section of the track. With an average speed of 134.432mph, the Yorkshireman became the first rider to lap the ferocious 37.73 mile course at over 134mph.
The former Lightweight TT winner held a 16 second lead over Dunlop as the riders pitted at the end of lap two, but his race ended on lap three when he slowed and eventually pulled up at Sulby.
Harrison’s departure left the way for Dunlop to record a 16thTT win, an emotional one for his Tyco BMW squad following the death of team-mate Dan Kneen after a crash during practice on Wednesday night.
Behind Dunlop, local rider Conor Cummins took a hugely popular second place on the Padgett’s Honda Fireblade, with James Hillier (pictured) third on the Carole Nash-backed JG Speedfit Kawasaki. In the first Sidecar TT, brothers Ben and Tom Birchall eased to a seventh TT victory.
Racing continues tomorrow (Monday) with the first Supersport TT and well as the sole Superstock TT.
Photos courtesy of www.iomtt.com