Belfast Telegraph

Tempers flare after Dunlop powers to Senior glory ahead of Hutchinson

By Paul Lindsay

Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson engaged in a war of words yesterday after the former clinched a record-breaking Senior TT victory on his Hawk Racing BMW to take his overall tally at the event to 13.

The Ballymoney man set a new race record and an absolute lap record of 133.962mph with his 31-second triumph over second-placed Hutchinson, with John McGuinness completing the podium - his 46th at the Manx event.

But tempers flared in the post-race press conference. Dunlop, who also won the Superbike race earlier in the week, was still angry after Wednesday's Supersport race two.

He said: "I'm a bit peeved after Wednesday and we came back fighting; that's the way we do it.

"This is just a private motorbike and we showed those boys what we are made of."

The MD Racing team protested about Hutchinson's Came Yamaha R6 after the Bingley rider took Wednesday's Supersport victory over Dunlop. Dunlop's team had apparently overheard event scrutineers discussing a potential technical infringement with Hutchinson's machine.

A subsequent investigation was carried out, but nothing was deemed to be outside the rules and the result stood. But it was obviously the motivation Dunlop needed.

An infuriated Hutchinson not only thanked his Tyco BMW team, but also explained that Dunlop's privateer Superbike team rhetoric was maybe not just what it seemed at this TT.

"I would like to thank BMW for supplying full factory engines to both my team and Michael's team, and the German technician that has been over has been shared between myself and Michael and any other BMW rider," was how Hutchinson explained the levelness of the playing field.

And on the Supersport race two debacle, the 14-time TT winner fired back: "I've done my best to congratulate Michael all week when he's done well, but I was pretty disgusted with what happened and their behaviour. They protested against us then spread rumours that I was using over-sized pistons.

"I will need to have a pretty big think about coming back to the TT."

Dunlop smiled, laughed and hit back: "I don't need to respond. It was the scrutineer who pointed it out. Even though BMW got rid of me, I have a few boys behind the old shop. I've still got good friends in there.

"My insider help in the 'foreign land' they give us what we need."

That last comment will raise plenty of eyebrows and has already set social media on fire.

Bradford's Dean Harrison, Bruce Anstey and Conor Cummins rounded out the top six in yesterday's Senior TT.

The Isle of Man TT 2016 was tinged with sadness with two riders losing their lives. Ian Bell was killed in the Sidecar race. The 58-year-old former winner was with son Carl, who was reported as uninjured. Former Senior Manx Grand Prix winner Andre Soar (38) from Loughborough died following an incident at Keppel Gate in the Senior TT.

The event produced three wins for Hutchinson, two for Dunlop, one for Ivan Lintin and an electric bike top step for Anstey

Belfast Telegraph


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