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Dunlop takes first Honda TT win as McGuinness sets new lap record

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Honda TT Legends’ Michael Dunlop stormed to victory in today’s Isle of Man TT Superbike race to bring home his first TT win for Honda, 30 years after his uncle Joey Dunlop achieved the same feat.

Team-mate John McGuinness – who ran a tribute Joey livery in the race to celebrate the anniversary – took third place and in doing so set a new outright lap record of 131.67mph. Third Honda TT Legends rider Michael Rutter placed sixth.      

The race got away at 3pm this afternoon with Dunlop taking the lead on the first lap. He proceeded to hold his position on the timesheets for the entire race, widening the gap lap-by-lap to eventually cross the line with a 40-second advantage over Cameron Donald (Wilson Craig Honda) in second. The victory is Dunlop’s fourth at the TT but his first in the Superbike class and his first for Honda.      

McGuinness had a more eventful race, climbing from fourth to second and leading on the roads by the four-lap mark. The 19-time TT winner unfortunately broke the pit lane speed limit during the second pit stop, picking up a 60-second penalty that dropped him back to fourth behind Guy Martin.

The Morecambe Missile came back fighting, putting in a stunning final lap that saw him catch Martin and set the new outright record, claiming third place and completing an all-Honda podium.      

Rutter meanwhile put in an impressive performance aboard the Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR Fireblade, chipping away with every lap to climb from 11th to sixth by the chequered flag. The three riders will convene again for the team on Friday 7 June for the Senior race.

Michael Dunlop

The Superbike was the main goal for me. It’s been a dream of mine and it honestly hasn’t sunk in yet that I’ve won it. I never got to ride with Joey so when I caught John on the road in the tribute livery it was kind of weird and I had to think twice that it wasn’t Joey. John was so smooth and he’s taken over the title of King of the Mountain, so to sit behind him and follow those lines was just fantastic. It was a very special moment. The Superbike was just unbelievable, it handled lovely and I can’t thank Honda and the team enough.      

John McGuinness  

I can’t win them all. I don’t know what happened in that second pit stop. Obviously it’s my fault and I’ll take it  on the chin because they’re the rules. I’d ridden hard for five laps and on that last lap I just pushed and pushed, giving it everything I could and I’m just pleased I was able to nick the podium back. I’m so proud to wear the Joey Dunlop colours from 2000. I was in the same position on the podium with him in the Superbike race that year, and now here I am next to another Dunlop. I wanted to win but it wasn’t be. I’m on the podium and the consolation is the lap record.

Michael Rutter  

That was good overall. We had a bit of a problem on the first pit stop with the rear wheel and with the front tyre in the first stint, but once we got that out of the way I started to enjoy it and got myself back up to sixth. I’m well happy with that as top six was my aim. Hopefully we can gain a couple of places on Friday.

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