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Isle of Man TT – Superbike TT race report – 30 years after a first Dunlop win for Honda, Michael Dunlop carries on from his uncle Joey’s footsteps to win superbike TT race

Superbike TT race report


This years superbike TT race started in perfect conditions all around the TT course. At the first timing point at Glen Helen on lap 1 it was Gary Johnson who took a early lead by 1.5 seconds over Michael Dunlop with Guy Martin, John Mcguinness and James Hillier all not to far behind.

As lap 1 went on it was Michael Dunlop who began to edge into lead over Gary Johnson as Guy Martin continued to occupy third place with John Mcguinness still in fourth place. At the end of lap 1 Michael Dunlop on the Honda TT legends racing Fireblade superbike lead by 3.2 seconds over Gary Johnson in second place, Guy Martin remained in third place in front of John Mcguinness.

Lap 2 saw Dunlop continue to extend his lead over Johnson in second place whilst Mcguinness was beginning to reel in Martin for third place. Soon though fuel issues meant Gary Johnson was out of the superbike TT race and this promoted John Mcguinness into second place in front of Guy Martin, Cameron Donald after a steady start was starting to get faster and faster as lap 2 went on.

As the riders entered the pits at the end of lap 2 Michael Dunlop had a comfortable lead over John Mcguinness in second place, Guy Martin remained in third place with Cameron Donald retaining fourth place. Lap 3 after the pit stops saw Michael Dunlop continue to lead the superbike race with now around a 20 second gap to John Mcguinness in second place. Guy Martin and Cameron Donald where now locked in battle for third place whilst Conor Cummins was going well on the Milwaukee Yamaha superbike.

Mid way through lap 3 and Dunlop’s lead at the front kept getting bigger and bigger, John Mcguinness still occupied second place and was leading on the road, Guy Martin was now under immense pressure from Cameron Donald to hold onto his third place.

At the end of lap 3 Michael Dunlop lead John Mcguinness in second place, Guy Martin and Cameron Donald where still in third and fourth places, Michael Rutter started to up his pace on lap 3 of the superbike TT race and was into ninth place. Josh Brookes competing in his first TT race became the fastest ever newcomer at the Isle of Man TT lapping at 126.7 mph beating Steve Plater’s previous best TT newcomers lap time of 125.6 mph.

Lap 4 beckoned and Dunlop riding superbly in the lead of the race was still pushing and increasing his lead further over Mcguinness, Cameron Donald was now into third place and pulling away from Guy Martin who was now down to fourth place. Conor Cummins remained in fifth place in front of James Hillier on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki superbike. Dean Harrison having lapped at a personal best lap speed of over 127 mph was now into the top 10 of the race on the RC Express racing Kawasaki by MSS performance superbike.

At the end of lap 4 Michael Dunlop was now over 30 seconds in front of John Mcguinness who had a picked up a 60 second penalty after speeding in the pit lane, this meant Cameron Donald was now into second place and Guy Martin was back into third place. But as lap 4 went on Mcguinness was on a charge determined to make up around 10-12 seconds on Martin in third place to reclaim a potential podium finish.

As lap 4 started to come to a close Dunlop continued to lead out front but Mcguinness was fast reeling Martin in for third place and as lap 5 started Mcguinness set the fastest time out of everyone to Glen Helen. Conor Cummins, Michael Rutter, James Hillier and Bruce Anstey occupied the top 8 placings in the race as lap 5 began. Josh Brookes was now into 10th place in front of Dean Harrison who continued to impress.

By Ramsey on lap 5 John Mcguinness was now into third place in front of Guy Martin who was only 1 second behind him, Michael Dunlop still lead at the front and now by 35 seconds over Cameron Donald who on the Wilson Craig racing Honda Fireblade superbike had lapped at 130.6 mph.

When lap 5 finished Michael Dunlop still had a commanding lead in front of second placed Cameron Donald whilst John Mcguinness was now edging clear of Guy Martin in fourth place. The final lap of this years superbike TT race began with positions unchanged at the front but Michael Rutter was now into sixth place on the Honda TT legends racing superbike in front of James Hillier and Bruce Anstey who occupied seventh and eight positions.

John Mcguinness now in third place was still upping his pace as lap 6 went on continuing to grow the gap between him and Guy Martin for third and fourth positions. As lap 6 and the race came to a close Michael Dunlop took his first superbike TT win and his fourth TT win in total. When John Mcguinness crossed the line it was confirmed that John had finished in third place.

But something else had happened when John crossed the line this was that John had broken his own outright TT lap record of 131.578 mph to now setting a new lap record with a lap speed of 131.670 mph, an absolutely stunning lap time. Cameron Donald finished in second place, Guy Martin came home in fourth place, Conor Cummins had his best TT result since 2010 finishing 5th on the Milwaukee Yamaha superbike and Michael Rutter set his best ever TT lap time with a lap speed of 129.484 mph whilst finishing in sixth place.

James Hillier, Bruce Anstey, William Dunlop and new fastest TT newcomer ever Josh Brookes completed the top 10. Dean Harrison finished in a good 11th place in front of Steve Mercer on the Penz BMW HP4 superstock bike. Lee Johnston produced a top ride to in 13th place on the East Coast racing Honda Fireblade, Dan Kneen, Ben Wylie, Jamie Hamilton, Rob Barber, Ian Mackman on the Norton, Brian Mccormack and Ian Lougher completed the top 20 during this record breaking superbike TT race.

So a superbike TT race that saw records broken, personal best lap times, top lap times from TT newcomers and a debut superbike TT win for Michael Dunlop. Plus its 30 years since Michael’s uncle Joey Dunlop won his first formula 1 TT race with Honda and like Joey, Michael has won his first superbike TT race on Honda machinery for the Honda TT legends racing team.

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