TT 2022: Podium for Dunlop despite ‘struggling all week’

| | TT and Roads
Picture: Impact Images

Michael Dunlop’s build up to the 2022 Isle of Man TT Races may not have been the smoothest but the 19-time winner pulled another result out of the bag with third place in Saturday’s Superbike race.

A last-minute switch to the Hawk Suzuki team and then issues with the Dunlop tyres at the North West 200 meant the Ballymoney man was far from prepared when practice week got underway and he didn’t look himself at all during the week.

A dalliance with Metzeler didn’t last long and he was back on the Dunlops quickly after and although he lapped at more than 131mph in qualifying, it seemed apparent he wouldn’t have the pace to win.

That proved to be the case and although he was in fifth place at the end of the first lap, he did what all TT racers do, kept plugging away. After latching on to the back of Peter Hickman when the eventual race winner came by him on lap three, a lap of 133.09mph on lap four saw him briefly threaten Dean Harrison for second although he ultimately had to settle for third.

“We’ve struggled all week to get a base setting and have tried everything possible to get the bike to work,” he said afterwards.

“It’s obviously all been a bit late coming together and we didn’t get any double laps on track during qualifying as I was having to do one lap, come in to make some changes and then go back out again.

“It was hard work and hard to be consistent whilst it’s also hard being up against two fast lads in Pete and Dean who are riding their bikes week in, week out. I also need to ride harder too.”