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Dunlop makes flying start at Billown
10 July 2013
Michael Dunlop maintained his stunning run of form at the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man with victory in the opening race of the 2013 meeting on the Billown circuit.
Dunlop, who was riding his Honda TT Legends Fireblade, broke the lap record on his way to the chequered flag in the 600/1000cc event.
The Northern Ireland rider, who claimed four wins from five races at the Isle of Man TT last month, proved too strong for Bradford's Dean Harrison on the RC Express Kawasaki and Tyco Suzuki's Guy Martin, who completed the rostrum positions.
It was Martin who made a flying start from second place on the grid, but once Dunlop overhauled Harrison to move into second place he began to increase the tempo and quickly reeled in the Lincolnshire rider.
Dunlop eventually moved into the lead of the race on lap five of eight and pulled away from Martin, setting a new lap record for the race at 113.412mph, slightly slower than the 24-year-old's outright lap record at Billown.
His winning margin at the end was almost four seconds over Bradford man Harrison, who passed Martin on the final lap dash to grab the runner-up position.
The top six was completed by Jamie Hamilton, Dan Kneen and Ian Lougher.
In 2012, Dunlop won five races and sealed victory in the feature Solo Championship race for the second successive year at the Southern 100.
Another win in the prestigious race tomorrow would give him the honour of matching his legendary road racing uncle Joey's record of three successive Solo Championship wins at Billown, which the 26-times Isle of Man TT winner achieved from 1976-1978.
William Dunlop won the concurrently run 600cc race on Chris Dowd's Yamaha R6, finishing eighth in the overall standings.
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