Guy Martin retained his Manx Gas Solo Championship title yesterday at the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man, joining the late, great Joey Dunlop as the only rider to win three consecutive blue riband races on the Billown circuit.
The Tyco BMW rider had two wins and a marginal second place to Michael Dunlop, but with Dunlop crashing out of the feature race the Lincolnshire ace was left to hold off Padgetts' Honda-mounted Dan Kneen for the victory.
Having taken his Southern 100 career win tally to 13, Martin said afterwards: "That is absolutely spot on and what a grand day to do it. After leading every lap this morning we got mugged by 8/100ths of a second on the line for the win, but we made a few changes before the feature race and I'm delighted to win the big race here again."
Michael Dunlop shadowed Martin in the closing stages of the opening Superbike race in the morning, and cutely used the low down power advantage of his Superstock BMW to slingshot past the Tyco BMW right on the line for the win.
But there was to be no fairytale ending for Dunlop, whose season has been littered with disappointment, and his crash at Ballabeg on lap four in the feature race will leave him wondering what he must do, to get back on the right side of Lady Luck.
Credit must go to Kneen, who felt he had the beating of Martin and was right on his back wheel throughout. But, having hesitated whilst lapping Paul Cranston on the penultimate lap, he gave Martin just enough breathing room to take the win by just under a second.
In other races, Dean Harrison set a new lap record of 109.447mph on his way to winning the S&S Motors 600 race, Ivan Lintin is the new king of the Supertwins' class, taking both 650cc race wins as well as joining Martin and Kneen on the Solo Championship Superbike podium, and Ballymoney's Seamus Elliott had a 600cc class victory in the Corlett's event and then dedicated his win to Dr John Hinds.