Belfast Telegraph

Michael Dunlop tops but incident casts a shadow

By Paul Lindsay

Ballymoney's Michael Dunlop topped last night's brief practice session at the Isle of Man TT with a lap of 128.6mph on his BMW Motorrad S1000RR Superbike.

But the session was red flagged following an incident at the top of Barregarrow involving Belgian newcomer Laurent Hoffmann.

The resulting removal operation involving Hoffmann's Ice Valley BMW, followed by rainfall around the circuit, forced Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson to call a halt at 7.35pm, with most riders only completing one full lap.

Tyco Suzuki's Guy Martin was second quickest, also posting a lap of 128mph, with his team-mate William Dunlop avoiding the damp patches on the run down the Mountain to record a 127.911mph effort.

Manxman Dan Kneen may be bang in the thick of the TT action with Ulster-based team Cookstown BE Racing, but the 26-year-old already has his sights set on success at the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix in August.

"The bikes are going really well and we have had some good results at the first few meetings this year," he said.

"The plan for 2014 is to really attack the international races, so the TT and Ulster Grand Prix will be huge for me.

"I had a disappointing North West 200 but the TT is my home race and the UGP is probably my favourite road circuit."

Kneen's comments came at the official announcement that the MS Society will be the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix charity partner for 2014.

"We are very proud to announce our partnership with the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix," said Tom Mallon of the MS Society Northern Ireland.

Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course at the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix, said: "We are proud to support the MS Society."

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