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Dunlop delivers Supersport classic

dunlop 130

Michael Dunlop’s relentless drive towards becoming the greatest Isle of Man TT rider of all time continued today, as he dominated proceedings in the second Monster Energy Supersport TT – moving on to 25 career wins and becoming the first rider to average over 130mph on a 600cc Supersport machine.

Having already racked up wins in the Superbike, Supertwin and opening Supersport outings, Dunlop typically put the hammer down to pull out an advantage over rivals Dean Harrison and Peter Hickman on the opening lap. The 35-year-old was never headed throughout the four-lap race and, although Hickman managed to reduce the advantage to around eight seconds going into the last lap, riding a Yamaha R6 Dunlop upped the pace on the final 37.73miles – recording a 130.403mph average lap to head home Triumph-mounted Hickman, who himself posted a 130.219mph lap, by 9.617 seconds. Harrison, on another R6, finished third, another 15 seconds back, his fourth such finish in as many races.

 

Dunlop_SS

 

Speaking after the race, Dunlop commented: “I controlled the race at the front, calmed down a little bit and could see that someone had a bit of a push on, so I said to myself ‘let’s keep this rolling’ and I just pushed a wee bit again on the last lap. I got a pit board over the mountain saying (the lead was) about eight seconds, so it was good to be able to cruise a bit at the end. The wee bike’s been mint. We built it ourselves in our workshop, so to beat the factory bikes has been fantastic. We’re always working to try and get a better package, but it’s hard because the newer generation bikes (like the Triumph) have bigger capacity engines, so it’s a great job by the team. The Supersport class has always been good to me, so to do the double and get the 130mph lap is brilliant. I always knew we could do the 130, so I’m delighted to do it for the crowd today.”

Hickman was full of praise for his rival, adding: “I’m really happy. To do a 130 around here is unreal. That was one of the targets for this year. Michael was absolutely on point and that’s fantastic to see from a competitor’s point of view. You want it to be tough, otherwise its boring, so Michael being so fast is spurring me on.”

Dunlop’s win, his fourth of TT 2023 means that he is now just one victory behind his legendary uncle Joey in the all-time win list. With a rest day tomorrow, he can potentially equal the record in Friday morning’s RL360 Superstock race, and break it in the afternoon’s Carole Nash Supertwin

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