2017 Southern 100: Dunlop satisfied with big-bike hat-trick

Picture: Suzuki Racing

Bennetts Suzuki’s Michael Dunlop took three big-bike wins from four starts at the 2017 Southern 100, losing out only to Dean Harrison in the Manx Gas Solo Championship race yesterday evening but setting a new outright lap record along the way.

Dunlop got off to a winning start, taking victory in the event’s opening race. After making a good start to lead the opening lap, Dunlop dropped back to second on lap two. From there, he sat behind race-leader Dan Kneen, before making another pass for the lead on the penultimate lap. He held the advantage until the chequered flag to take the win, the first for the new GSX-R1000 around the Billown circuit.

The 2017 Senior TT winner then backed it up with victory in Wednesday’s seven-lap race, and then took the win in the first of two races on Thursday. The final, nine-lap Manx Gas Solo Championship race saw Dunlop, Kneen, and Dean Harrison fight for position, and all enjoyed spells at the front of the race, and while he had to eventually settle for third, Dunlop set a new course record of 115.707mph on the last lap.

It’s been a good week. I can’t lie and say I’m not disappointed to win all four races with the big Suzuki, but we’ve enjoyed some good, close racing, three wins is good, and I’m happy to set a new circuit record, too. We’re still learning with this bike, the team, Steve, all the boys, are still learning and working hard, and we’re getting better all the time,” said Dunlop.

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