Michael Dunlop took his second win of the day on the Isle of Man when he broke lap and race records on the Team Classic Suzuki to win the Superbike Classic TT race.
The Ulsterman led from start to finish and although Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) closed to within three seconds just after half race distance, he soon pulled away to take a comfortable win by almost twenty seconds. James Hillier took third on another ZXR750 Kawasaki, this time in the colours of Greenall Racing.
Dunlop grabbed the lead at Glen Helen at the first time of asking, his advantage over Hillier 2.4s with Harrison, Ivan Lintin and Dan Kneen in hot pursuit. Bruce Anstey was back in eighth place whilst Steve Mercer, who started at number one on the Mistral Racing Kawasaki, was an early retirement at Sulby village having gone through the speed trap moments earlier at just 34mph!
As the lap wore on, Dunlop began to edge away but Harrison was now up to second having overhauled Hillier on the run from Ballaugh to Ramsey. Indeed, Harrison was keeping Dunlop in check and whilst the latter was quickest at 125.872mph, his lead was only seven seconds at the end of the first lap.
Harrison’s lap of 125.026mph was, at that stage, the quickest ever 750cc lap around the Mountain Course, quicker than Jim Moodie’s 1999 mark of 124.45mph and that put him 4.6s clear of Hillier as Kneen, Lintin and Gary Johnson completed the top six with the top 11 riders all over 120mph.
Dunlop still led at Glen Helen second time around, the lead having extended to just under eleven seconds. Harrison was still four seconds clear of Hillier but Kneen’s strong ride ended at Glen Darragh promoting Lintin up to fourth.
It was clear that Dunlop was on record-breaking pace on his second lap and he was timed at more than 127mph from Ramsey to Ramsey. He was continuing to extend his lead over Harrison and with his second lap speed being 126.808mph, a stunning new lap record, the gap had stretched to 18s, even though Harrison himself had gone quicker at 125.512mph.
Hillier, Lintin, Michael Rutter and Johnson were holding station in third to sixth but the last named overshot his pit crew and had to reverse back up pit lane losing close to two minutes. Meanwhile, Conor Cummins, down in 26th at the end of the first lap, had also broken the lap record with a speed of 126.222mph hauling him up to 12th and giving him the fastest ever 750cc rider tag.
The pit stops had clearly seen riders gain and lose time and at Glen Helen on lap three, Dunlop’s lead had plummeted to just 2.3s primarily due to Harrison not changing his rear tyre. Hillier was still in third but Rutter and Anstey were up to fourth and fifth as Lintin dropped back to eighth.
Dunlop’s rear tyre was slowly getting up to temperate though and as the lap progressed, he reasserted his control on the race, the lead by the Grandstand as he set out on his final lap back up to 13 seconds. Hillier, Rutter and Anstey continued to hold onto third to fifth but Jamie Coward was now up to sixth due the problems experienced by Lintin and Johnson at the pits.
Harrison’s hopes on lap three were certainly extinguished on lap four as Dunlop built on his lead throughout the lap and the Ballymoney man came home for his second win of the day, the final winning margin being 19.2s.
Hillier’s strong ride saw him take a good third with Rutter, Coward and Horst Saiger filling out the top six after Anstey stopped on the final lap at Glentramman. The top ten was completed by William Dunlop, Cummins, Johnson and Danny Webb after Lintin retired at Signpost Corner less than two miles from the finish.
Motorsport Merchandise Superbike - conditions dry
1 3 Michael Dunlop Suzuki / Team Classic Suzuki 01:12:57.750 124.108 GP2 Silver
2 12 Dean Harrison Kawasaki / Silicone Engineering 01:13:17.009 123.564 GP2 Silver
3 2 James Hillier Kawasaki / Greenall Racing 01:13:34.051 123.087 GP2 Silver
4 4 Michael Rutter Harris / Team Winfield 01:13:54.449 122.521 GP1 Silver
5 9 Jamie Coward Kawasaki / Mistral Racing Kawasaki 01:14:56.232 120.837 GP2 Silver
6 11 Horst Saiger Kawasaki / Greenall Racing 01:15:13.399 120.378 GP2 Silver
7 26 William Dunlop KAWASAKI / HERHEIM RACING 01:16:24.657 118.507 GP2 Silver
8 15 Conor Cummins Yamaha / Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Mot 01:16:36.833 118.193 GP2 Bronze
9 7 Gary Johnson Suzuki / Team York Suzuki 01:16:44.146 118.005 GP2 Bronze
10 13 Danny Webb Suzuki / Team Classic Suzuki 01:16:59.967 117.601 GP2 Bronze
11 41 Alexander Pickett Kawasaki / TC Racing/DP Coldplaning 01:18:52.646 114.801 P2 Silver
12 30 Timothee Monot Yamaha / TMR / performances moto 01:19:33.026 113.830 P2 Silver
13 18 Kiaran Hankin Honda / kHHIRE 01:19:43.437 113.582 P2 Silver
14 34 Ryan Kneen Kawasaki / CBG contractors 01:19:45.681 113.529 P2 Silver
15 28 David Hewson Ducati / Obsession Engineering / Stafford E 01:19:47.805 113.478 P2 Silver
16 33 Dennis Booth Suzuki / Geoff Martin Racing 01:20:04.263 113.090 P2 Silver
17 25 David Sellers Kawasaki / DSR Racing 01:20:06.156 113.045 P2 Silver
18 21 David Madsen-Mygdal Honda / RJP Racing 01:20:45.662 112.123 P2 Silver
19 24 Ben Wylie Bimota / ASP Racing / Bimota UK 01:20:59.612 111.802 P2 Silver
20 16 Dan Stewart Kawasaki / WILCOCKCONSULTING 01:21:08.640 111.594 GP2
21 10 Daniel Hegarty Suzuki / thepeoplesbike.com 01:21:08.711 111.593 GP2
22 20 Nick Jefferies Honda / Team Classic Suzuki 01:21:16.537 111.413 P2 Silver
23 37 Richard Wilson Norton / Excel Signs, Washington 01:21:42.342 110.827 P2 Silver
24 38 Adrian Harrison Suzuki / Alan Chamley 01:22:16.255 110.066 P2 Silver
25 51 Graham Ward Kawasaki / SMT 01:22:38.731 109.567 P2 Silver
26 67 James Caswell Kawasaki / Blackart Suspension / Castech 01:24:35.150 107.053 P2 Bronze
27 61 Wayne Axon Ducati / Celeres Racing 01:24:40.231 106.946 P2 Bronze
28 47 Neal Champion Kawasaki / Frasers Motorcycles 01:25:03.658 106.455 P2 Bronze
29 60 Alan Bud Jackson Yamaha / Cumbria Radiators 01:25:22.754 106.059 P2 Bronze
30 69 Colin Croft Suzuki / Croft Electrical Racing 01:26:20.040 104.886 P2 Bronze
31 64 Martin Harrison Suzuki / Signman 01:26:25.464 104.776 P2 Bronze
32 58 Alec Whitwell Suzuki / Funky Monk Racing 01:26:35.680 104.570 P2 Bronze
33 62 Ian Gardner Kawasaki / UTILERGY 01:26:41.763 104.448 P2 Bronze
34 73 Bob Farrington Suzuki / UK Safety and Training 01:30:09.908 100.429 P2
35 50 Paul Wilson Suzuki / Epping Electrical 01:30:34.492 99.975 P2
36 70 Peter Creer Suzuki 01:31:42.709 98.735 P2
37 56 Jack Hunter Suzuki / Atherstone Accident Repair Centre 01:33:34.935 96.762 P2
38 76 Steven Dobbie Ducati / SDS MOT Station 01:14:24.993 91.262 P1