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