Road Racing

Michael Dunlop takes record-breaking Superbike TT win

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History was made at the Isle of Man TT on Saturday morning as Michael Dunlop shattered the lap and race records to take victory in the opening RST Superbike race.

Dunlop recorded the first-ever sub 17 minute laps around the famous Mountain Course – one of which was a sensational 133.393mph.

In the end the 27-year-old finished 19 seconds ahead of Ian Hutchinson, who was also inside the outright lap record, with a race winning time that was 1m15.643s inside the old race record.

Dunlop and Hutchinson were joined on the podium by John McGuinness on his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade machine.

Dunlop signaled his intentions from the get-go and took the lead from Hutchinson at Glen Helen on the opening lap of the race. James Hillier also made a positive start in third place, with Michael Rutter, Dean Harrison and Conor Cummins rounding-out the top six at the end of the first lap.

By the time Dunlop reached Ramsey for the first time he had doubled his lead to four seconds and his pace continued as he produced the first-ever sub-17 minute lap – at 133.369mph. Hutchinson also went under the old outright lap record but was still 3.6 seconds behind the leader.

Behind them Harrison had taken third spot away from Hillier as all the riders inside the top six lapped at more than 130mph.

Hutchinson caught McGuinness on the road and his second lap was almost identical to his first at 132.884mph, but Dunlop went quicker still and his second lap of 133.393mph extended his lead to 7.5s.

Harrison was still in third but McGuinness was on the move and was up to fourth, only a quarter of a second adrift. Hillier had dropped back to fifth as Peter Hickman moved up to sixth on his GBMoto Racing Kawasaki.

The pit-stops arrived and Dunlop’s could not have gone any smoother as he gained over four seconds on Hutchinson, giving him an advantage of 15 seconds. Hillier’s pit-stop didn’t quite to plan and he ended up dropping down to 13th position. 

By the end of the fourth lap, Hutchinson, McGuinness and Dunlop were all circulating on the road together with the Honda man getting back ahead of Hutchinson for a brief period.

As the race entered its final third, the top three were secure in their positions but the battle for fourth was going down to the wire and by the end of lap five Hickman had moved ahead of Harrison. Further down the order, Bruce Anstey had moved up into the top ten on the RCV213S, lapping at more than 130mph for the first time on the machine.

At the head of the field though, Dunlop, Hutchinson and McGuinness were comfortable in the podium positions and although the latter lapped at 131.538mph on his fourth lap he was unable to make an impression on the front two as Dunlop swept to his 12th TT victory.

Behind the podium finishers Hickman secured his and his team’s best-ever finish at the TT in fourth – joining the 132mph club in the process.

Harrison and Rutter completed the top six, with David Johnson’s excellent ride on the Norton ending with a brilliant seventh place and a new best lap by the Norton at 130.872mph.

In the race for the TT Privateer’s Championship, Daniel Hegarty took the maximum 25 points after finishing 13th overall, also posting a new personal best lap of the Mountain Course at 128.341mph

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