Belfast Telegraph

It may well be double delight for ace Michael Dunlop

By Roy Harris

The double-header on the Isle of Man today may well throw up the best opportunity for a local victory at this year's TT Races.

The opener will be the four-lap Supersport Race One (10.45am), with Michael Dunlop a red-hot favourite to take his second TT career victory on his trusty Street Sweep R6 Yamaha, followed by the Superstock race (2.15pm), again over four laps.

Dunlop covered himself in glory on Saturday with a gutsy performance on the PBM prepared Kawasaki Superbike, fighting back from a lengthy opening pit stop to finish fifth with the quickest final lap of the race.

And although the 22-year-old would dearly love a Senior TT podium on Friday on the all-new ZX-10 Kawasaki, today could be the day when he pops open not one, but two bottles of podium bubbly.

Who else steps on the box is anyone's guess but after last year's performance, running eventual winner Ian Hutchinson super close, Dunlop is the man they all have to beat in the opening middleweight encounter.

He set a lap of 125.464mph on the second night of practice, which was never bettered.

Cameron Donald will be his biggest threat in the Supersport race and set the second quickest lap during practice (125.110mph), two seconds slower than Dunlop.

Kiwi Bruce Anstey can never be discounted and after being forced to park his Superbike on Saturday whilst challenging John McGuinness for the win, the 42-year-old is the one they'll have to watch.

Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing will be looking to get their TT off and running after Guy Martin also retired on Saturday whilst disputing second place in the Superbike TT.

Martin likes the all-new GSX-R600 Suzuki's characteristics and the Lincolnshire man will be quietly confident.

Also worthy of a mention are William Dunlop (123.959mph) and Morecambe's John McGuinness (123.516mph), Saturday's Superbike TT winner. McGuinness will be chasing TT win number 17 today, with Gary Johnson, Keith Amor and Dan Kneen top 10 leaderboard men.

Michael Dunlop topped the Superstock TT qualifying times on his Street Sweep Kawasaki with an unofficial lap record on Friday night at 130.024mph.

Johnson (128.554mph) was second quickest, 12 seconds slower than Dunlop, with Anstey third on 127.694mph.

Donald, William Dunlop and Guy Martin closed out the top six with Ryan Farquhar seventh.

Adrian Archibald was 15th and Stephen Thompson 22nd.

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