TT 2016: Dunlop wins cracking Senior TT

Michael Dunlop on his way to Senior victory (Photo: Mike Wade)

Michael Dunlop on his way to Senior victory (Photo: Mike Wade)

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Michael Dunlop produced a record-breaking performance to win a blistering PokerStars Senior TT on Friday afternoon.

The Ballymoney man racked up a new outright lap record of 16 minutes 53.929 seconds (133.962mph) on his way to a 13th TT victory round the Mountain Course.

A new race record meant Dunlop brought home his Hawk Racing BMW 31.476 seconds ahead of rival Ian Hutchinson on corrected time at the conclusion of the six-lap contest that was delayed several hours because of mist.

Last year’s Senior winner John McGuinness secured his 46th podium finish a further 31.046 second down on Tyco BMW man Hutchinson.

Dunlop said: ‘I was a bit peeved with something that happened on Wednesday so I came out to make amends - I never weakened, I just kept going.’

After setting a new outright lap record on his second circuit, an astonishing 134mph lap looked on the cards for Dunlop on the final lap, but the Ballymoney man said: ‘I should have done it - I backed off a bit as I didn’t want to get involved in a battle on the road with the other two [Hutchinson and McGuinness].’

A three-time winner this week Hutchinson revealed he’d had problems with his bike despite two laps at an average speed of 133mph: ‘The electronics turned off on the bike on lap two. I thought it was a tyre going off initially, but after the pit stop at the end of the lap I worked out what the problem was and could ride to accommodate it. By then though Michael had already built up a good lead.’

23-time winner McGuinness, who ends a TT meeting without a victory for the first time since 2010 added: ‘I was a bit lazy at the start, but when Hutchy came past I settled into a nice rhythm.’

Finishing fourth 16.723 seconds down on Honda-mounted McGuinness was Dean Harrison, who in turn was 3.462 seconds ahead of Bruce Anstey on the Padgett’s Honda.

Manxman Conor Cummins rounded out the top six just ahead of Michael Rutter, Lee Johnston, James Hillier and Wednesday’s Lightweight winner Ivan Lintin.

The race was its usual war of attrition with William Dunlop, Gary Johnson, Steve Mercer and Braddan’s Ryan Kneen among the notable retirements. David Johnson slid off the Norton at Sulby when in the top 10.

Full report in Tuesday’s Isle of Man Examiner.

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