Belfast Telegraph

We've got the tools to win everything at this year's Isle of Man TT, says bullish Michael Dunlop

Michael Dunlop is in confident mood at this year's Isle of Man TT.
Michael Dunlop is in confident mood at this year's Isle of Man TT.
Astounding pace: Dean Harrison will rival Dunlop

Michael Dunlop reckons he could clean up and even secure another lap record at this year's Isle of Man TT.

Judging by the ease with which he won Monday morning's opening Monster Energy Supersport race, it's hard to argue.

The Ballymoney man broke his own 2013 lap record for the class with a 129.197mph pace, finishing 10 seconds clear of second-placed Dean Harrison.

It added to his win is Saturday's RST Superbike race to take his overall TT wins tally to 17. That puts him into equal third in the all-time victories list with sidecar ace Dave Molyneux and chasing John McGuinness on 23 and his uncle Joey on 26.

When asked what a good week would be for Michael Dunlop, the hugely talented, controlled aggressive, single-minded rider said: "Winning everything, if it all comes together we will push the box to try and win. I'm focused on winning and believe we have the tools for the job."

You can't argue with that confidence and psychologically he is a formidable opponent for the others to knock off top spot, especially when he is even tipping himself to smash his Supersport record once more.

"I genuinely think I could do 130 - wait for it," he told Manx Radio. "The boys have worked really hard. We went in a bit blind today because we hadn't had a lot of time on the bike.

"We could definitely make it better without a doubt and go again. It's a fast pace but I felt good and I'm starting to ride a bit harder. I'll keep my head down and batter on."

Dunlop will also be going for victory in the afternoon RL360 4-lap Superstock race, scheduled for 2.15pm.

This is an intriguing contest with the manufacturers all chasing the top prize in this race, featuring bikes closest to what any customer can walk into a showroom and buy.

It was a BMW 1-2-3-4 last year with Ian Hutchinson on top of the rostrum with Dean Harrison and Dunlop back in fifth and sixth positions.

Dunlop is back on his own Tyco team's BMW this year, Hutchinson is now Honda mounted with Harrison sticking to Kawasaki.

Hickman (BMW), Dave Johnson (BMW), Lee Johnston (Honda) Rutter (BMW), Cummins (Honda) and Hillier (Kawasaki) could make this the closest race of the week.

Dunlop again led qualifying less than a second ahead of Harrison with Rutter third fastest 10 seconds down on the Bradford man.

Again, the early pace will be crucial. There's no more pacing yourself for a lap to get up to speed -it is head down from the first plunge down Bray Hill and keep it lit to the chequered flag, remembering your fuel stop at the end of lap two.

At Kirkistown on Saturday, Gerard Kinghan from Randalstown lifted the Mayor's Trophy after a Superbike double during the B&D Club promoted AJ Plumbing Ulster Superbike Championship to take a 37 and a half point lead in the championship.

Kinghan headed Ryan Gibson and Aaron Armstrong home in both shortened races, due to incidents.

Reigning champion Jason Lyn won both Supersport races on Saturday, taking race one by 0.223secs from championship leader Korie McGreevy, who had a similar margin gap on third placed Robert Kennedy. Race two saw Donegal's Richard Kerr finish over a second behind Lynn with McGreevy third.

Belfast Telegraph


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