Superbike Sunday: Dunlop Becomes a 23-time TT Winner
Just when you thought the 2023 Isle of Man TT Races couldn’t heat up any further - after a scorching qualifying week, and a Michael Dunlop-led Monster Energy Supersport lockout; things leveled up again when the Superbikes rolled onto the road.
Just when you thought the 2023 Isle of Man TT Races couldn’t heat up any further - after a scorching qualifying week, and a Michael Dunlop-led Monster Energy Supersport lockout; things leveled up again when the Superbikes rolled onto the road. Michael Dunlop made it a Superbike Sunday to remember, scorching to victory in the opening ‘big bike’ race in absolute dominant style.
Following up his Supersport success in perfect style, Dunlop carved out a 6.2-second lead over rival Harrison after lap one courtesy of a new lap record for the Superbike race of 134.519mph from a standing start. The 34 year old from Ballymoney in Northern Ireland further pushed the limit further on lap two - producing a blistering improved lap speed of 135.046 to increase his cushion over Harrison to 14 seconds.
Managing the race perfectly from there, Dunlop consolidated his lead, to cross the line and become a 23-time TT winner - joint second in the overall winners standings - three behind the record total of 26 triumphs achieved by his legendary late uncle Joey Dunlop.
“It was a good race! On the last lap there were a few yellow flags, so I just rode a bit more carefully, but it all came together on the big bike. Thanks to Steve and the entire team for putting together a fantastic package - it never missed a beat. It was tough out there; with the heat and Dean and Peter pushing hard - but I’m delighted. I feel good after the race too physically which is testament to the preparation.”
And on the 23rd TT win?
“Listen, John (McGuinness) has always been a fantastic ambassador for motorbike racing and racing at the TT. I’ve never been one to be focused on records, but to have been racing with John now and at the height of it all - with the pace that riders like Peter and Dean are bringing - means it doesn't get any easier. We are an independent team - and to achieve all this - especially now with a big bike win, is something special. There is still a long way to go - we have six more races - and I’m out to get another big bike win at the end of the week. All I can do is just ride hard and try to enjoy it!”
The news doesn't end there either! Monster Energy FHO Racing’s Peter Hickman battled was 8.2 seconds behind Dunlop. In a near replay of the Monster Energy Supersport, Hicky edged out Dean Harrison for second place on the final lap,with the margin between the two riders 2.4 seconds on this occasion.
The 2023 Isle of Man TT continues on Tuesday 6th June with the three lap RL360 Superstock race, where McGuinness, Dunlop, and Hickman - boasting 52 TT wins between them - go head to head and against the clock for TT glory. Watch it all live with all live via; https://ttplus.iomttraces.com/.