Michael Dunlop's stunning double triumph at Isle of Man Classic TT
Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop took a fabulous double victory during yesterday’s conclusion to the 2016 Classic TT Races on the Isle of Man. The 27-year-old TT star opened his account by taking the Junior win in the morning, aboard the exotic Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta; then backed it up in the afternoon, winning the blue riband Classic TT Superbike race, setting a new lap record at 126.808mph.
Speaking after his four-lap Classic TT Superbike win aboard Steve Wheatman’s XR69 Suzuki, an elated Dunlop said: “Not bad for an ‘oul thing’, smiled the Ulsterman, who was taking his fourth career win at the Classic TT.
“I knew how hard I could go and I just kept at it. The big girl worked really well,” he said of his classic Suzuki. “I’ve got to thank Steve and the boys. To stick one in at 126mph and nearly 127mph takes some pushing.”
Dunlop lost a lot of time having to allow his team to change a rear wheel during the pit stop, and joked afterwards, about seeing his lead diminish over eventual second placed man Dean Harrison on the Silicone Racing Kawasaki.
“One minute I’d an 18 second lead then it went down to ten and then down to two. I thought ‘woah’, wait a minute here. Something must be happening, so I got my finger out again and battered on.
“People don’t understand how hard it is to ride these bikes,” said Dunlop, who went on to take a 19 second win over Harrison, with James Hillier [Greenall Racing Kawasaki] third, a further 17 seconds down on Harrison.
Concluding he said, with a tough of humour: “It’s a pig to ride, but it’s my pig and there were a couple of times I was absolutely everywhere through the bumpy stuff. But she’s done my trick and I told the boys I could do a 126mph or 127mph lap. Full credit to the team.”
Michael Rutter, Jamie Coward and Horst Saiger completed the top six; with William Dunlop seventh, ahead of Conor Cummins, Gary Johnson and Danny Webb who filled the remaining top ten positions.
Dunlop’s win in the Junior race proved to be a sterner test, as while the Ballymoney man was forced to pit at half distance to refuel his Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta, second place man Michael Rutter was able to complete the race distance on one tank of fuel aboard the Ripley Honda.
Dunlop’s win was some ten seconds over Honda mounted Rutter – who had led himself by 35 seconds. He in turn was 81 seconds ahead of third placed rider Alan Oversby on the Davies Motorsport Honda.