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TT 2016: Imperious Dunlop crowned Senior champion

Michael Dunlop ends Ian Hutchinson's winning streak to win the blue riband Senior TT with a new outright lap record of almost 134mph.
Michael Dunlop smashed the absolute lap record at the Isle of Man TT with a lap of almost 134mph to clinch the prestigious PokerStars Senior trophy with a commanding performance on Friday.

The 27-year-old from Ballymoney is celebrating a famous big bike double on the Hawk Racing BMW after winning last Saturday's RST Superbike TT.

Dunlop has now won five times in the premier class around the Mountain Course and has moved onto 13 wins in total as he ended arch-rival Ian Hutchinson's winning streak this week.

Honda Racing's John McGuinness finished on the podium in third place ahead of Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki), with Bruce Anstey on the Valvoline Padgett's Honda RC213V-S MotoGP replica and Conor Cummins (Honda Racing) the top six.

The Ulster rider set a hot pace from the off in the delayed race, which finally got underway at 3.45pm after a series of interruptions due to mist and fog, opening up with another sub-17 minute lap of 133.256mph (16m 59.304s).

Dunlop had established a lead of 2.8 seconds over Hutchinson, whose first standing start lap was 132.887mph. By the time they reached Glen Helen on lap two, his advantage had increased to five seconds, with Peter Hickman running in third on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki, ten seconds behind Hutchinson.

A fired up Dunlop, who saw Hutchinson win both Supersport races and the Superstock event to boost his tally to 14 victories, raised the outright lap record to 133.962mph (16m 53.929s) as he stretched his advantage to 9.2 seconds. His stunning lap was only 0.28s off a landmark 134mph average, taking almost 10 seconds off the the old lap record set by McGuinness in 2015.

As expected it was a two-horse race between Dunlop and Tyco BMW rider Hutchinson, but just as he did in last Saturday's RST Superbike race, Dunlop effectively broke the Yorkshireman's resolve with two searing laps from the off and barring any mishaps, the Northern Ireland rider seemed to have matters under control.

There was huge disappointment for Hickman, who retired from third place on lap two at the Bungalow, with McGuinness moving into podium contention following the first pit stops ahead of Flying Kiwi Anstey.

Dunlop fired in a speed of 126.391mph on his third lap after the fuel stops compared to Hutchinson's lap of 126.164mph, building a cushion of 11.2 seconds.

McGuinness, last year's Senior TT winner, consolidated third place, but Anstey was now coming under pressure from Harrison.

Dunlop was maintaining a scorching pace although his fourth lap of 133.001mph was slightly slower than Hutchinson, who clocked 133.080mph to pull a second back.

Dunlop, though, had plenty in reserve and after the second round of pit stops at the end of lap four, he held a lead of 16 seconds at Ballaugh, with McGuinness 30 seconds back on Hutchinson.

Bradford's Harrison had now moved ahead of Anstey to slot into fourth, while Conor Cummins was holding sixth on the Honda Racing Fireblade.

Dunlop was catching sight of Hutchinson on the roads, who started 20 seconds ahead of him at No.4 and he hunted down the Bingley Bullet relentlessly, taking over the lead on the road at Ramsey on the last lap.

It was plain sailing for Dunlop from then on, who lapped at 131.345mph on his sixth and final lap to win the legendary Senior trophy for a second time on BMW machinery following his maiden triumph in the showpiece race in 2014.

Hutchinson finished 31.476s behind at the end with McGuinness completing the podium, a further 31 seconds in arrears.

Harrison clinched a fine fourth place as he finished 52.7 seconds behind McGuinness, with Anstey on the RC213V-S MotoGP replica coming home in fifth position.

Manx rider Cummins took sixth, with Michael Rutter (Bathams SMT BMW) and Lee Johnston on the East Coast/Burdens BMW completing the first eight.

James Hillier (Quattro Plant Muc-Off Kawasaki) and Lightweight TT winner Ivan Lintin (Devitt RC Express Kawasaki) were the top ten.

William Dunlop retired his Yamaha R1 in the pits at the end of lap two, while Dave Johnson came off the Norton at Sulby Bridge, but was reported as OK.

Irish rider Alan Bonner crashed at Creg-ny-Baa on the Devitt RC Express Kawasaki but was also reported to be OK.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Dunlop on the Hawk Racing BMW Superbike at the Isle of Man TT.
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki in the Senior TT.
Peter Hickman in the Senior TT on the Smiths BMW.
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki in the Senior TT.
Bruce Anstey on his way to victory in the TT Zero race.
Guy Martin on the Honda Racing Superbike.
Jochem van den Hoek.
Michael Rutter took victory in the Lightweight TT on the Italian Paton.
Dan Kneen celebrates with his team after sealing his maiden Isle of Man TT rostrum in the Superstock race.
Ian Hutchinson celebrates his Superstock victory.
Ian Hutchinson on his way to victory in the Superstock TT on the Tyco BMW.
Davey Lambert in the RST Superbike race.
A Sidecar narrowly missed spectators in an incident that was captured in a video posted on YouTube.
James Hillier on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki in the opening Supersport TT race.
Michael Dunlop in the Supersport TT.
Michael Dunlop on his Yamaha in the Supersport TT.
Peter Hickman claimed his maiden podium at the Isle of Man TT with a runner-up finish in the RST Superbike race.
Michael Dunlop at the start of the RST Superbike race on the Bennetts Suzuki.

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June 10, 2016 9:39 PM

Hutchy and Dunlop are the TT masters. There are serious lessons for Dunlop to learn from this year, working at your own bikes, running your own team and cobbling together equipment, working all hours of the night to get on track at this level does not work.The bike he shone on was the only bike supplied and built by a 'team'. He has proved he's the fastest round the Island with supersport lap and race records and now superbike records as well as being the fastest man around the island and to win the final race on a 'private' bike against a works bike by some 30 seconds says it all. Get in a good team and stick there and just ride the bikes!

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