All posts by Bennetts Suzuki

Hat-trick hero Michael Dunlop takes three wins for Bennetts Suzuki at the International Southern 100 road races

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Michael Dunlop took three wins from four starts for the Bennetts Suzuki team at this week’s Southern 100 road races on the Isle of Man, setting a new circuit lap record of 115.707mph along the way onboard the new GSX-R1000.

Dunlop got off to a winning start, taking victory in the event’s opening race. After making a good start to lead the opening lap, Dunlop dropped back to second on lap two. From there, he sat behind race-leader Dan Kneen, before making another pass for the lead on the penultimate lap. He held the advantage until the chequered flag to take the win, the first for the new GSX-R1000 around the Billown circuit.

The 2017 Senior TT winner then backed it up with victory in Wednesday’s seven-lap race, and then took the win in the first of two races on Thursday.

The final, nine-lap Manx Gas Solo Championship race saw Dunlop, Kneen, and Dean Harrison fight for position, and all enjoyed spells at the front of the race, and while he had to eventually settle for third, Dunlop set a new course record of 115.707mph on the last lap.

Michael Dunlop, “It’s been a good week. I can’t lie and say I’m not disappointed to win all four races with the big Suzuki, but we’ve enjoyed some good, close racing, three wins is good, and I’m happy to set a new circuit record, too. We’re still learning with this bike, the team, Steve, all the boys, are still learning and working hard, and we’re getting better all the time.”

Team manager, Steve Hicken, “We’re really happy to take some more wins with the new GSX-R. After winning three from three we really wanted the fourth and there’s no doubt Michael was trying: setting a new lap record on the last lap of the last race. But we’ve had a good week and have learned a lot more about the bike. We were making changes all each time we went out, trying to find a setting that worked well on the bumpy Billown circuit, but we kept improving and kept getting faster, and are happy with the results.”

Corlett’s Trophies 600/1000cc race result: 1. Michael Dunlop, 2. Dan Kneen, 3. Dean Harrison.

Ellan Vannin Fuels Senior race result: 1. Michael Dunlop, 2. Dan Kneen, 3. Jamie Coward.

Island Aggregates Superbike race result: 1. Michael Dunlop, 2. Dan Kneen, 3. Jamie Coward.

Manx Gas Solo Championship race result: 1. Dean Harrison, 2. Dan Kneen, 3. Michael Dunlop

Top 10 for Guintoli after difficult weekend for Bennetts Suzuki at Snetterton

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Bennetts Suzuki

The Bennetts Suzuki team is taking away the positives from a difficult weekend at Snetterton and round five of the MCE British Superbike championship, where Sylvain Guintoli took a brace of top-10 finishes, as Taylor Mackenzie failed to finish either race and Richard Cooper cruelly denied victory in the Superstock 1000 race after running out of fuel.

The improvements in Guintoli’s pace from qualifying to today’s races shows the work the Bennetts Suzuki team is putting in behind the scenes with the new GSX-R1000. From his 14th place grid spot Guintoli raced to 10th in race one, before going one better in race two to finish ninth, all the time closing the gap to the leaders.

It was a weekend to forget for Mackenzie, after an electrical issue prevented him from qualifying any higher than 23rd. Still, the reigning Superstock 1000 champion – who was 10th quickest in morning warmup – was optimistic ahead of the two races. Unfortunately he crashed out on lap three of race one after making up a number of places on the opening two laps. He then retired on the warmup lap of race two with a technical issue.

Sylvain Guintoli, “It’s not where we want to be obviously, but we have made improvements again this weekend. We made a step from qualifying to the races, and we’re always trying to keep developing the package. Everyone’s working hard and we’ll keep plugging away. We’ve had two solid results this weekend but everyone is determined to find more and achieve more going forwards.”

Taylor Mackenzie, “It was probably the worst weekend ever but we were actually quite fast in-between the mishaps. I was really confident, and feel really comfy on the bike now and can ride it hard and how I want. I passed a lot of people off the start in race one and was on the back of the group that went up to about eighth. It’s all ifs, buts and maybes, but without the crash I think we could have been top-10, got a better grid spot for race two, and pushed on from there. The reason for the crash was the lack of track time – we were struggling a little with our engine braking, and we hadn’t got it right and it just pushed me on too much in the corner and it tucked the front. But surprisingly I feel good, and there’s no reason we can’t go to Brands and fight inside the top-10 right away.”

Richard Cooper was doing everything he needed to do in an effort to regain his National Superstock 1000 championship lead. After qualifying on the front row, Cooper was controlling the race from the front and was on course to return to the top step of the podium. Unfortunately, he ran out of fuel on the last lap and had to coast to the line, salvaging fourth place.

Richard Cooper, “This really wasn’t what we had in mind. I wanted to run the race from the front, I felt comfortable doing that and I felt like I was controlling it really. The bike was working mint, I’ve been really happy with the bike all weekend and we were really strong jumping out of the slower corners. I could put a few tenths into everyone here and there and got the gap up to the two second mark. But with two to go it started to cut out in the corners, and on the last lap it was doing it down the straights. And obviously it’s made things harder for the championship now. It’s hard to take, but I know I did everything I could.”

Team manager, Steve Hicken, “It’s been a really strange, really disappointing weekend for us. It started smoothly in FP1, but unfortunately it just went downhill from there. We talk about potential every other week and honestly I’m getting sick of saying it, but with the right bit of luck we will make a far better showing than we have so far. There is plenty of potential in the package and we’re getting there. Two top 10s for Sylvain after qualifying on the fifth row show progress.

“But credit to Taylor, after missing track time and having to start from the last row of the grid through no fault of his own, he knuckled down and got on with it. He made a belting start in the first race to go from last to 13th by turn two. But sadly the lack of track time caught up with us and meant we hadn’t quite got our setup right, and pushing on into turn five he tucked the front and had a pretty big off. We worked flat out to get the bike looking brand new for race two, so it was gutting to see him have to pull off the warmup lap with an electrical problem. But we know that with a bit of luck we’ll see him getting the results soon.

“It was also gut-wrenching to see Cooper have to coast across the line in Superstock. That was probably the best race of his career, the way he controlled it from the front and the pace he was able to run so consistently. He was riding well and the the bike was working well, but we started to run out of fuel with two laps to go and every time it went into a corner it starter to splutter. It’s such a shame as he had a commanding lead and deserved the win.”

Superbike race one result: 1. Shane Byrne, 2. Josh Brookes, 3. Jason O’Halloran, 10. Sylvain Guintoli, DNF. Taylor Mackenzie

Superbike race two result: 1. Shane Byrne, 2. Josh Brookes, 3. Jason O’Halloran, 9. Sylvain Guintoli, DNS. Taylor Mackenzie

Superstock 1000 race result: 1. Danny Buchan, 2. Mason Law, 3. Michael Rutter, 4. Richard Cooper

Mixed fortunes in Snetterton qualifying for Bennetts Suzuki

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Bennetts Suzuki

The Bennetts Suzuki team has endured an up-and-down start to the fifth round of the MCE British Superbike championship Snetterton, with Richard Cooper starting from the front row of the grid on his GSX-R1000 in the National Superstock 1000 race, while it was disappointment for Taylor Mackenzie and Sylvain Guintoli.

Cooper set the second fastest time of today’s qualifying session, narrowly missing out on pole by less than a tenth of a second. However, the former Superstock 1000 champion was well under the existing lap record, and is happy with both the his one lap pace but also his race pace.

Richard Cooper, “Much better this weekend. We struggled a bit at Knockhill but we knew we had to be back on the pace here, and we are. I’m really happy with the bike, the speed is good, the chassis is working well. And I’m also confident that I can do the pace for the full distance. It looks like it’ll be between me and Danny [Buchan], but hopefully we’ve got enough to do the job.

Mackenzie’s qualifying session was brought to an early end, the youngster failing to make it out of Q1 after he was forced to retire with an electrical issue. Mackenzie will start tomorrow’s opening race from 23rd on the grid.

Guintoli progressed from Q1 into the second qualifying session. He set the 14th fastest time and will start from the fifth row of the grid.

Taylor Mackenzie, “I was full of confidence coming here after Knockhill, but unfortunately we’ve had a few issues that have cost us track time in the practice sessions, and then our qualifying was cut short with an electrical issue. From the few laps I’ve done I’ve felt good on the bike. We’re way down on the grid but I think if we can score points in both races we’ll have done okay; it’s damage limitation a little bit for us, but if we can get away hopefully I can get up the order and turn our weekend around.”

Sylvain Guintoli, “The pace isn’t coming as quickly as we’d hoped this weekend. I had a small crash this morning which set us back as well. Everyone in the team is still working really hard and we’re all motivated to work on improvements. It’s not one particular area, we’re working on the whole package, and we’ll keep pushing for two good results in the races.”

Richard Cooper continued to prove the merits of the new GSX-R1000 in Superstock trim, and will start tomorrow’s National Superstock 1000 race from the front row of the grid after setting the second quickest time during qualifying.

Team manager, Steve Hicken, “Difficult day today. We’ve not done the laps we’d have liked, especially with Taylor. We had an issue in qualifying which was the worst time for it to happen and it’s cost him a good grid position. But it is what it is and we have to take it on the chin and move on. We’ll keep doing our best and try to get two good results from the races.

“With Cooper we’re back where we should be. We didn’t quite have the pace to fight for the wins at Knockhill and we gave away a good few points in the championship, but we’re up there again this weekend, so hopefully we can come away with a good result and get back in the championship hunt.”

Superbike qualifying result: 1. Shane Byrne, 2. James Ellison, 3. Jason O’Halloran, 14. Sylvain Guintoli, 23. Taylor Mackenzie

Superstock 1000 qualifying result: 1. Danny Buchan, 2. Richard Cooper, 3. Michael Rutter

Bennetts Suzuki set for Snetterton

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MCE British Superbike Championship

The Bennetts Suzuki team is set for Snetterton this weekend, and the fifth round of the MCE British Superbike championship, looking to build on the positive weekend and progress made last time out at Knockhill.

Taylor Mackenzie scored a career-best result of fifth at the previous round, highlighting the steps the team has made with development of the new GSX-R1000, and how effective his recent surgery has been to relieve arm-pump. He struggled with fatigue in race two after a short recovery period, but with more time to train and prepare for Snetterton, the Scot is confident of more improvement this weekend.

Taylor Mackenzie, “I’m really looking forward to this weekend. The last round was really good and shows how much we’ve improved. We’ve worked in every area, and at Knockhill the bike was working better, I was working better, and it all started to come together. Since then I’ve been able to train more as well, and my arms have had more time to recover, so hopefully we can carry on from where we left off and have another good weekend and keep aiming for that top-five.” 

Sylvain Guintoli also showed improved pace at Knockhill, the Frenchman feeling more comfortable on his GSX-R1000 after the team made a number of changes for Knockhill, using information gathered from the Isle of Man TT.

Sylvain Guintoli, “We had good pace at Knockhill. Our results weren’t quite there for one reason or another, but we were able to put in good lap times and have made lots of progress. We’re still working, but it’s getting there and I’m excited for Snetterton. It’s another new track for me on a bike, but I have raced there in a Hayabusa-powered car, the Radical SR3. I know the layout so hopefully I can get up to speed on the GSX-R quickly and we can keep improving.”

Richard Cooper relinquished his National Superstock 1000 series lead at Knockhill, after a DNF in race one. However, he is now looking to put the pressure on those ahead of him and get back in the championship hunt.

Richard Cooper, “Going into this weekend the pressure is off me a little bit now, and is definitely more on Danny [Buchan]. We were a little bit off the pace at Knockhill, but I don’t see why we won’t be back fighting for the win at Snetterton. We’ve been up at the front everywhere else; Donington, Oulton, Brands, and we’re constantly improving the bike. What I need is to try and get some other riders involved at the front and hopefully get them between myself and Danny, and take a good chunk of points off him this weekend.”

Team manager, Steve Hicken, “Everyone’s really looking forward to the weekend. Knockhill was a lot better for us in Superbike. We’ve made lots of progress and that was really evident. We’re looking to continue that this weekend and keep building on the results. In Superstock, we had a bit of a setback, which has cost us points and the series lead. But now we’re chasing and our job is to put the pressure on. There are plenty of races left and we know we’ve got the pace to win races with the new GSX-R1000, and the aim is to start again at Snetterton.”

Career-best finish for Taylor Mackenzie at Knockhill

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Bennetts Suzuki

Taylor Mackenzie marked the return of the MCE British Superbike championship after a seven week break with a fifth placed finish at Knockhill, onboard his Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Mackenzie started the weekend with his best ever qualifying the Superbike class, starting the opening race from the third row of the grid. After the lights went out he picked his way forward until he was in the battle for the podium, and despite dropping back in the closing stages, he took a career-best finish of fifth.

In race two Mackenzie was again racing well inside the top-10, but eventually crossed the line in 11th place, after struggling with physical fitness after his surgery.

Taylor Mackenzie, “I would have taken fifth all day to be honest, but we were in that battle for the podium. There were areas I was making up time, but I missed a gear coming out of the hairpin and they just broke the tow. I didn’t want to push and risk a crash, so I settled for that fifth. It’s more than we could have asked for and shows how far we’ve come on. In race two, after four or five laps, it was just survival really. I haven’t ridden in so long and after the surgery I couldn’t do any strength training, and I was just really struggling. Not with arm-pump, just strength. But I’m going away happy – we’ve made lots of changes and the bike’s better, I’m better. I’ll try and get out and get some laps in before Snetterton, just time on the bike. I saw this as the start of my season and it’s a good place to be starting from.”

Sylvain Guintoli was racing at Knockhill for the first time in his career this weekend, and also started from the third row of the grid. He took an eight placed finish in race one, but was prevented from improving on that performance in race two after being forced wide and off track at turn one on the opening lap. 

He rejoined dead last, but picked his way through the field to take two championship points in 14th.

Sylvain Guintoli, “We didn’t get the results we wanted this weekend but we’re definitely looking at all of the positives. Our pace was good in qualifying and it was our best of the season. We still have areas to improve, and we struggled with rear grip in the first race. Our pace was actually good in the second race but I got forced off the track and it made it hard to make up the time, as our pace was similar to the top-10. It was hard to bridge the gap. We’ll keep working for Snetterton; it’s another new track for me on a bike, although I did race there and finish on the podium in a car race in a Suzuki-engined Radical SR3, so I know the layout, and hopefully I will get up to speed quickly on the GSX-R.”

Richard Cooper finished on the podium in the second Superstock 1000 race, his third place finish helping put the disappointment of a retirement in race one behind him, when a loose bolt came loose and caused the bike to become stuck in sixth gear.

Cooper started strongly in race one before a mistake on lap one dropped him back down the order. He recovered to fourth place and was in the fight for the podium before retiring three laps from the end. In the second race he kept his championship challenge on track, taking third at the chequered flag.

Richard Cooper, “It was disappointing not to finish the first race. We didn’t qualify brilliantly but I made a good start, but then I made a mistake into the hairpin on the opening lap and that cost me a lot of time and a lot of places. I was back in the battle for the podium but three laps to go I couldn’t get out of sixth. It was a silly little problem really, but we found it, fixed it, and got out again and had a good race in race two. We didn’t quite have the pace for the win, but it’s another podium and we’re still in the championship hunt.”

Steve Hicken, team manager, “It’s definitely been a better weekend for us. We’ve got the bike in a much better place, and a lot of that is down the Michael [Dunlop] and the TT; a lot of the settings we worked on with him we started with this weekend. It’s been a brilliant weekend for Taylor, with a best ever qualifying and best ever result. To be passing people like Shakey [Shane Byrne] and Josh Brookes like he did, on the brakes, looking completely in control, shows how far the bike’s come and how he’s developing as a rider. In race two he just struggled with fatigue with his arms – not arm-pump, but it took it out of him. But with more time on the bike that’ll sort, and his confidence will be high now and hopefully we can carry that forward.

“With Sylvain, we honestly thought we were going to be fighting for the podium today, given his pace in qualifying and his long runs in practice, especially when you consider he was still learning the circuit. He just struggled with grip to match the group in front for pace in race one, potentially down to the change in track temperature. And race two was lost on the opening lap when he was forced off circuit. But we’ll look at the positives and look at the pace he had, and continue to work with him and the bike to keep improving.

“It was a shame to have to retire with Cooper in the first Superstock race, we didn’t quite have the pace to run at the very front this weekend but we were still on for a podium. We got it in race two, coming back fighting. We’ll take this weekend on the chin and move on from here.”

Superbike race one result: 1. Jake Dixon, 2. Luke Mossey, 3. Shane Byrne, 5. Taylor Mackenzie, 8. Sylvain Guintoli

Superbike race two result: 1. Jake Dixon, 2. James Ellison, 3. Shane Byrne, 11. Taylor Mackenzie, 14. Sylvain Guintoli

Superstock 1000 race one result: 1. Danny Buchan, 2. Michael Rutter, 3. Matthew Paulo, DNF. Richard Cooper

Superstock 1000 race two result: 1. Danny Buchan, 2. Chrissy Rouse, 3. Richard Cooper

Third row qualifying for Bennetts Suzuki pairing at Knockhill

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Sylvain Guintoli and Taylor Mackenzie will both start tomorrow’s opening MCE British Superbike race at Knockhill from the third row of the grid, the Bennetts Suzuki pairing starting seventh and ninth respectively on their GSX-R1000s.

Guintoli spent the first free practice sessions getting to grips with the technical Knockhill circuit, in what is his first visit to the Scottish track. In today’s shortened qualifying session, which was delayed due to issues of track contamination, he was sitting in sixth place and looking at a second row start, before he was bumped back to seventh in the dying seconds. However, it is the Frenchman’s best qualifying of the season and he is confident of further improving his pace and position in tomorrow’s races.

Mackenzie will start ninth, after setting a best lap time just over a tenth slower than his teammate, and is hopeful of two good results from tomorrow’s races, as the team continue to make progress with the new GSX-R1000.

Sylvain Guintoli, “Knockhill’s a very British track, but I am enjoying it a lot. I’m still learning it as there are a lot of blind corners and changes in elevation, but it’s also our best qualifying of the season so it shows that we’ve made good progress with the bike. I’m only two tenths off pole and we’re the most competitive we have been, and we’re still improving and trying to make the bike better. I think we can have two good races tomorrow.”

Taylor Mackenzie, “We’re having a much better weekend. Right from the first session I’ve felt really good and the bike’s working really well. We’ve made a big step, in all areas really, and it’s the first time I feel like I can really push as hard as I want to. The procedure on my arms has made everything better as well, I didn’t realise before how much I was holding on, but I come in now after each session feeling like I should. It’s a massive improvement across the board really, and ninth is my best ever Superbike qualifying. Two solid top-10s tomorrow would be really good, it’s tough at the front, but we’re much stronger than we ever have been than I think we can do more if we get a good start and get away.” 

Steve Hicken, team manager, “Much better this weekend. We had a difficult start to the season but we’ve been working hard, and we’ve made a big step with the bike since Oulton. It’s our best qualifying of the season, and we have to remember Sylvain’s not been here before; while Knockhill’s short, it’s quite difficult to learn. It’s competitive out there but hopefully, with Sylvain still learning and the bike always improving, we can get away with the front group and have two good races.

“Taylor’s having a good weekend too. We’ve really improved things on his side of the garage, and he’s learning more and more all the time about the bike and the electronics. Two top-10 finishes for him would be great after the inconsistent start to the year, but I think there’s definitely the potential there for more.”

Superbike qualifying result: 1. Luke Mossey, 2. Jake Dixon, 3. James Ellison, 7. Sylvain Guintoli, 9. Taylor Mackenzie

Bennetts Suzuki returns to BSB action at Knockhill following Isle of Man TT success

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The Bennetts Suzuki team returns to action in the MCE British Superbike championship this weekend at Knockhill, following a successful visit to the Isle of Man that saw the new GSX-R1000 take victory in the Senior TT.

Superbike riders Sylvain Guintoli and Taylor Mackenzie are confident of making more progress and improving their results at round four of the series, following the ongoing development of the new Suzuki. Guintoli has spent the break from British Superbike duty by deputising for the injured Alex Rins in MotoGP aboard the GSX-RR, as well as further refining his own riding technique, while Mackenzie underwent arm-pump surgery to help his performances in the second half of the season.

Fellow teammate Richard Cooper heads into the weekend looking to extend his lead at the top of the National Superstock 1000 championship, where he holds a slender one-point lead.

Sylvain Guintoli, “The last few weeks have been good, and it was a great experience to work with the Suzuki Grand Prix team. A lot has changed since I last rode a Grand Prix bike and it took some dialling in again, but I enjoyed it a lot and we had some results I was happy with. But I’m now looking forward to getting back to British Superbikes and continuing our work with the new GSX-R. The team has been very busy since the last round with the road racing, but the guys have been continuing development of the bike, and I’m looking forward to getting back on it. I’ve also been working on my own riding technique and I actually borrowed Taylor’s RM-Z250 – he couldn’t use it for a bit because of the surgery – to work on rear brake control and controlling slides better. It might only be a 250 but it had some power. I’ve never been to Knockhill, so tomorrow will be a learning day for me. Hopefully the weather is kind and I can get up to speed quickly and we can have a good weekend.”

Taylor Mackenzie, “We should be in a good place this weekend. I’ve done more laps around Knockhill than anywhere else really, it’s my favourite track of the year. In the break I’ve had surgery to help with arm-pump. If you look back at Oulton our pace was pretty good but I get to half-race distance and I start to really struggle. I rode some motocross recently – after getting my bike back from Sylvain – and I had no issues, so this should really help. Bike-wise, the team has done a lot of work and made big steps with setup, mostly the rear suspension setup and our corner entry. I’m also learning about the electronics more and more – having had limited time on a Superbike – so we should see some big improvements, hopefully starting this weekend.”

Richard Cooper, “I’m looking forward to getting back out this weekend. I rode the bike at Mallory Park on Friday, just to spend some time on the big Suzuki again, rather than an out-and-out test, but in the break the team have been working hard. I’ve spent some time in the workshop, too, and we’ve got some things to try on Friday, and I think the team learned a lot more about the bike at the TT as well. We’ve got two long races this weekend, which is good, I’m looking forward to having two goes at it. Hopefully the changes we make will take us in a good direction and we can have a strong weekend and extend our championship lead.”

Steve Hicken, team manager, “It’s good to be getting back to the British Championship this weekend. We had a difficult TT, going there with a new bike, but we learned a lot and ended strongly with the win everyone wants in the Senior, and also the fastest lap of the week. But now it’s back to the short circuits and there aren’t many shorter than Knockhill. We’ve learned even more about the bike since Oulton, and made progress with its development, both in Superbike-spec and we also have some bits to try with the Superstock bike, too. It’s a new circuit for Sylvain, so we’ll have a bit of work to do with him to get him comfortable, but we’re hoping Taylor and Richard can hit the ground running and we should have a good weekend.”

Michael Dunlop and Bennetts Suzuki take new GSX-R1000 to Senior TT Victory

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1 Michael Dunlop 2 Peter Hickman 3 Dean Harrison

Michael Dunlop raced his Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000 to victory in today’s Senior TT, taking the win in the blue ribband race with a best lap of 132.903mph.
The race – which was restarted after a red flag – saw Dunlop lead from the off after making some setup changes to his GSX-R1000. He had pulled out a lead of two seconds by Ramsey, and extended it to three seconds at the Bungalow, before posting a standing-start lap of 132.292mph. He then set the best lap of the race on lap two, with a speed of 132.903mph.
After the pit-stop the Northern Irishman managed his lead at the front, controlling the gap to Peter Hickman in second place, eventually taking the win by over 13 seconds.
Dunlop had been strong on the all-new machine every time he went out, topping the qualifying times despite the bad weather and lack of track time around the 37.73 mile Mountain course. He was then leading the Superbike race before retiring with a technical issue, however, he still set the fastest lap of the race.
He recorded a sixth placed finish in the Superstock race – despite just one lap of practice and a lack of setup time hampering his performance – but took his 15th TT win in the event-closing Senior race.
Michael Dunlop, “The bike never missed a beat. We had the problem in the Superbike race, and if it wasn’t for that we could have had two wins with the big girl. But we’re here with a brand new motorbike and the boys have worked hard to get us to this point, and in that race she never missed a beat. Steve, all the team, put so much effort in and people won’t understand how far we’ve come. We’ve made the impossible possible. I could have gone faster, but it was important to get to the finish. This potential’s been coming. If I’d had this bike at the North West 200 I think that would have been a different story, too. But we’ve won the Senior TT, what more can we say?”
Steve Hicken, team manager, “That’s why we came here. We couldn’t have any other aim than winning. As we’ve said all week, it’s taken a lot of hard work to get here as the only team in the paddock with a brand new bike, and we’ve seen others struggle. It was a shame about Saturday, when we were looking like we could have taken the Superbike win as well, but we learnt from it and made the right changes for today and this is the race everyone wants. And when you consider how early the bike is in its development, it’s an even bigger achievement, and it shows there’s more to come. But we have to also say a big congratulations and thank you to Michael, as without him and his input, feedback, and speed around here, this wouldn’t have been possible.”
Senior TT race result: 1. Michael Dunlop (1:09:24.711), 2. Peter Hickman (+13.320), 3. Dean Harrison (+10.185).



Dunlop retires from lead of RST Superbike TT

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Bennetts Suzuki

The Bennetts Suzuki team’s bid for a debut TT win ended in disappointment, after Michael Dunlop was forced to retire from the lead of today’s Superbike race.

After slotting into third place early on, Dunlop upped the pace to take the lead by the end of the opening circulation, with a lap of 131.135mph. Despite retirement, it remained the fastest lap of the six lap race.

He was extending his lead on lap two, before retiring with a technical issue at Handley’s.

Team manager, Steve Hicken, commented, “What can we say? We were looking good and Michael was comfortable and pulling away, and it says a lot that we set the fastest lap of the race on the opening lap. There was plenty more to come and we could have done a couple of 132s, comfortably. Until that point the bike was working well but sometimes these things happen. It’s frustrating but that’s racing the TT. We’ll strip the bike this evening to determine exactly what the issue was and work to resolve it ahead of Friday’s Senior TT.”

Isle of Man TT Superbike result: 1. Ian Hutchinson, 2. Peter Hickman, 3. Dean Harrison, DNF. Michael Dunlop.

Dunlop and Bennetts Suzuki top Isle of Man TT Superbike qualifying

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Michael Dunlop ended qualifying for tomorrow’s Isle of Man TT Superbike race at the top of the time sheets, posting a lap of 131.062mph onboard his Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000 in today’s session.

Dunlop recorded the time from a standing start, and while happy with the progress he and the team have made with the new machine, the lack of track time means there are still areas left to improve and more potential to exploit with the big Suzuki.

Michael Dunlop, “I’m happy to do the lap, but we have suffered with the lack of track time and we’re still working on setup. It’s the first time this bike has been round here, so we’ve been changing lots of things each time we go out. The time’s good but we’ve got to ride at that pace for six laps tomorrow, so we’ll see how we go.”

Team manager, Steve Hicken, “If anyone was going to be hindered by a lack of track time this week it was going to be us. We’ve done a lot with the bike, changing settings and components, improving it all the time, and we’re pleased with the lap, but we’re still working on everything; from corner entry to stability, everything. There’s plenty of potential there but getting a bike to work around the Isle of Man takes time and it takes laps. But we’re all working hard and we’ll do our best again tomorrow.”

Superbike qualifying result: 1. Michael Dunlop (131.062mph), 2. Peter Hickman (130.629mph), 3. Ian Hutchinson (130.327mph).