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Southern 100: Dunlop dominates Billown opener

Isle of Man TT star Michael Dunlop roars to emphatic victory in Corlett's Trophies 600/1000cc race as Dean Harrison escapes unhurt following spill.
Michael Dunlop was a commanding winner of the Corlett's Trophies 600/1000cc race as the 2016 Steam Packet Southern 100 roared into life in earnest on Tuesday evening.

Dunlop had topped the times in practice on his Hawk Racing BMW and sealed a runaway victory by 12 seconds from Ivan Lintin on the Devitt RC Express Kawasaki.

Manx rider Dan Kneen, back in action after missing the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT through injury, claimed the final place on the podium for Ulster team Mar-Train Yamaha.

There was drama at the beginning of the race when frontrunner Dean Harrison, second fastest behind Dunlop during final 1000cc practice on Tuesday, crashed out unhurt.

The race was restarted over six laps of the 4.25-mile course at Billown and Dunlop quickly asserted his authority, easing away at the front on his S1000RR to secure an emphatic triumph as the Ballymoney man began the week in style. The 27-year-old also set the fastest lap of the race at 112.408mph on his penultimate lap.

Jamie Coward, riding a 1000cc Kawasaki for the Devitt RC Express Kawasaki team, impressed by claiming fourth place ahead of Dan Hegarty (Kawasaki) and southern Irish rider Alan Bonner, who is making his Southern 100 bow for the Devitt RC Express Kawasaki team.

James Cowton (Honda) won the concurrently run 600cc race after finishing in tenth place overall, with Colin Stephenson (Yamaha) and Rhys Hardisty (Yamaha) the top three.

Meanwhile, newcomer Darryl Tweed was a sensational winner of the Station Garage 125/400cc race on his 400cc Kawasaki.

Tweed took the victory overall by 17.6 seconds from Dan Sayle, who was riding the Moto3 Falcon Honda 250. Adrian Kershaw was third overall on his 400cc Kawasaki, while Northern Ireland's Adam McLean was the leading GP125cc rider home in fourth as he also makes his maiden appearance at the 'Friendly Races'.

The action on Wednesday includes the Supersport and Superbike machines as the countdown continues to Thursday's blue riband Solo Championship finale, which was won last year by Guy Martin.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Dunlop at the Southern 100
Italian rider Dario Cecconi has died after an accident at the Tandragee 100.
Guy Martin on the Honda Racing Fireblade SP2
Gary Johnson will run his own team at TT 2017.
Lee Johnston has teamed up with Ryan Farquhar to race a KMR Kawasaki in the NI Air Ambulance colours at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
Alastair Seeley with the Tyco BMW he will race at the North West 200.
Michael Dunlop, Carl Cox, [Credit: Holeshot PR]
Michael Dunlop has signed for Bennets Suzuki for the 2017 international road races.
Michael Dunlop has signed for the Bennett Suzuki team for 2017.
Guy Martin, John McGuinness Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Guy Martin, Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Josh Brookes has signed to ride for Norton at the Isle of Man TT in 2017.
Dan Hegarty won the TT Privateers Championship in 2016.
Peter Hickman will ride for Smiths Racing in 2017 at the international road races and in the British Superbike Championship.
Michael Rutter on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Martin Jessopp on the Riders Motorcycles BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Michael Rutter and John McGuinness during the pre-event press conference ahead of the 50th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Michael Rutter topped the opening practice session for the 2016 Macau Grand Prix.

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