Michael Dunlop returned to the Irish National Road Racing scene this weekend in style. The Ballymoney man, still suffering from a broken pelvis, hip and ribs sustained at the Southern 100 just over two weeks ago, won both of the Superbike races at Armoy today securing a record eighth successive Race Of Legends victory.
In the first of the day’s Superbike outings it was Derek McGee who led from the off closely chased by Derek Sheils, Michael Sweeney and Dunlop. Starting from fourth on the grid, Dunlop wasted no time in battling his way to the front and extending his lead lap on lap taking the chequered flag 4.4 seconds ahead of Sheils, spoiling the Dubliner’s recent streak of seven wins with Sweeney, who had also got past early leader McGee to take third.
In the Race Of Legends it was again McGee who led off the line, a lead he held until lap four when Darren Cooper crashed out at the hairpin bringing out the red flags.
On the restart it was the Mullingar man who again grabbed the lead closely followed by Dunlop and Sheils, but by the end of the opening lap Dunlop pulled the pin and had moved to the front.
By the mid-point of the five-lap restarted race, he had a lead of some three and a half seconds. On the last lap Sheils found a way past McGee and narrowed the gap to Dunlop but it was to little to late and Dunlop took the win by 2.6 seconds with McGee a further 3.3 seconds adrift.
McGee won the second Supersport race to make it a double win after narrowly beat Paul Jordan in Friday’s race. Jordan sat the second race out due to an injury he sustained when him and McGee collided at the end of the Friday race.
It was a reasonably comfortable victory taking the chequered flag 5.3 seconds ahead of Sweeney and Sheils in third.
McGee completed a hat trick of wins in the 125/Moto3 race unchallenged from start to finish. Gary Dunlop who started at the rear of the grid due to problems during yesterday’s qualifying fought his way through the field to take second on corrected time but still a mighty 19.5 seconds down on McGee with Melissa Kennedy in third.
McGee lost out on a fourth win of the meeting in the Supertwin race when he retired out of the lead gifting Andy Farrell the win from Neil Kernohan and Stephen McKnight.
Kernohan had a convincing win in the Lightweight Supersport race ahead of Scotsman Kris Duncan and David Howard.
Vinny Brennan dominated the Junior Support race to win from Dominic Cottrell with newcomer Ryan Fenton third.
Fenton later won the Senior Support race his first road race victory taking the win by 0.1 seconds from Andy McAllister with Friday’s winner Tommy Henry third.
Barry Davidson and Dominic Herbertson had a win apiece in the classic races.