Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop proved to be the man to beat around the 4.25-mile Billown circuit last night, winning twice at lap-record pace.
His first win of the day, and second of this year’s meeting, came in the eight-lap Senior race. Dunlop took his Honda to victory with a new absolute 1000cc lap record of 2 minutes 14.986 seconds, an average speed of 113.345mph, and a new race record of 18:17.922 (111.483mph).
At the flag, Dunlop was five seconds ahead of 2nd-placed Guy Martin, who was a further 20-plus seconds clear of Tyco Suzuki teammate Conor Cummins.
Ian Lougher was fourth, just three seconds down on Manxman Cummins, with newcomers Dean Harrison and Jamie Hamilton in 5th and 6th.
Dunlop’s blistering pace continued in the 600cc race, where he set a new race record of 19:08.005 (106.62mph). However, it was Cummins who led the early running, his Suzuki heading Dunlop’s Yamaha R6 for the first three laps.
Once the Ballymoney man slipped by, though, he was able to pull away and win by more than a second.
Ian Lougher rounded out the top three on his ILR Kawasaki a further nine seconds down on Cummins.
The combined 250/650cc race proved to be an absolute thriller as pre-race favourite and practice pace setter Ryan Farquhar was pushed all the way to the flag by his young protégé Jamie Hamilton.
Farquhar is the acknowledged master of the SuperTwin class, which made its TT debut this year, but he struggled to shake off KMR Kawasaki teammate Hamilton over the eight laps, eventually taking the flag by just 0.197s. Hamilton set a new track record for the SuperTwins as he kept his team boss honest.
TT winner Chris Palmer was the first 250cc home, crossing the line 10 seconds behind Hamilton, with 650cc-mounted Ivan Lintin and Russ Mountford coming home 4th and 5th.