Michael Dunlop makes it four Superbike wins in a week
Michael Dunlop took his third career Manx Gas Solo Championship victory at the Southern 100 yesterday, making it four Superbike wins without reply at this year's event for the Hawk Racing BMW rider.
Dunlop did what he has done best all week at the Billown circuit, taking the lead on the opening lap before extending his advantage - this time to a comfortable six-second victory, with a fastest lap of 114.099mph in the process.
It was his best ever lap at Billown, albeit just outside the existing lap record of second placed man Dean Harrison (114.601mph), set in 2014.
Speaking afterwards, the new Solo champion said: "That's the one people want to win, so to be the Solo champion is what I've been here for all week."
Dunlop then recounted the race victory: "I got a good first lap and bedded in nicely. We had a small brake problem and suffered halfway through so I just tried to nurse it a bit. In saying that, the bike was fast and stable and worked nicely."
This time around it was Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki in second, comfortably 13 seconds ahead of third placed man Ivan Lintin on the RC Express Kawasaki.
Manxman Dan Kneen did fight all the way for the final podium spot on the Mar-Train Racing Yamaha, only to lose out by 4/100ths of a second after the nine laps. Jamie Coward and Ballymoney's Seamus Elliott rounded out the top six. Saintfield's Davy Morgan was eighth.
Dunlop completed his four-timer in the rescheduled Island Aggregates Superbike race at the end of yesterday's programme. The Hawk Racing BMW rider put on a great show to win by 18 seconds.
Concluding his week, he added: "That was a fantastic week for us - four wins from four races. We aren't getting short circuit time ahead of the Ulster Grand Prix like some of the other boys, but we've got some really good time on the big bike here."
With the teams of Harrison (Silicone), Lintin (RC Express) and Dan Kneen (Mar-Train) packed up and ready for the boat, it allowed Manxman Ryan Kneen to take a fine second place ahead of Dan Hegarty in third.
The Manx Gas Sidecar Championship race was won by Tim Reeves/Patrick Farrance on the DMR Klaffi Honda, with history being made - the 100mph barrier broken by the top three outfits for the first time at Billown.
The Birchall brothers, Tom and Ben, took second place, just over a second down on Reeves and Farrance with John Holden and Andy Winkle third, two seconds further back. Reeves posted the fastest of the 100mph with an effort of 100.749mph (2min: 31.862sec).
Dunlop was also asked about the upcoming Armoy Road Races on July 29 and 30, and explained: "Armoy is a bit up in the air at the minute. I'm not sure if we are making it or not, but we will try."
With the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix on his mind, the 13-time Isle of Man TT winner, who is in prolific form this season on the Superbike, with a North West 200 win, a double at the TT, National wins and now a four-timer at the Southern 100 on the Hawk BMW.
He said: "It's been nice to get a run on the big bike before the Ulster. We've had some trouble with the 600 up to now but the plan is to work hard with it before the Ulster to get it right."