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Motorsport turns a corner with Dunlop record

By Kerry McKittrick

Published 11/06/2016

Almost horizontal, right on the edge of the track, Michael Dunlop approaches the
Almost horizontal, right on the edge of the track, Michael Dunlop approaches the "Gooseneck" during the Monster Energy Supersport TT race on the Isle of Man

Almost horizontal, right on the edge of the track, Michael Dunlop approaches the "Gooseneck" during the Monster Energy Supersport TT race on the Isle of Man.

Michael smashed the course record on Wednesday with a time of 16:58.439 on his BMW S100RR superbike, with an average speed of 133.393 miles an hour. It was the first time anyone had completed the TT course in under 17 minutes.

Michael's lap was so blisteringly quick that the video footage of it carries a health warning for people watching who may be prone to seizures.

It's hardly surprising that Michael is a motorsport champion. With his family pedigree, he almost has petrol pumping through his veins.

The son of the late Robert Dunlop and nephew of the late Joey Dunlop, Michael, along with his brother William, has been racing since his teens and made his debut at the Isle of Man TT in 2007.

Motorcycle racing has not been a kind sport to the Dunlop family. World champion Joey won 26 races in his career. He died in Estonia in 2000, when he lost control of his bike during a race.

Robert died eight years later during a practice session at the North West 200. That year Michael won the race and dedicated his triumph to his father.

It hasn't been an easy year for motorcycle racing. Two riders died during the Isle of Man TT this week.

Dungannon road racer Ryan Farquhar also spent weeks in hospital, including two stints in intensive car, after a smash at the North West 200 in May.

His injuries included a punctured lung, a laceration on his liver and six broken ribs. However, the good news is that he now appears to be well on the mend.

Two days after his accident, Malachi Mitchell-Thomas (20) lost his life in a crash at the event, which was then called off with two races remaining. He has been mourned as one of the lost rising stars of the sport.

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