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Southern 100: Dunlop crowned Solo champion

Michael Dunlop seals Superbike four-timer including victory in showpiece Manx Gas Solo Championship finale at the Southern 100.
Michael Dunlop lifted the Manx Gas Solo Championship title at the Steam Packet Southern 100 to underline his dominance at Billown on Thursday.

The Hawk Racing BMW rider romped to a big bike four-timer as he blazed a trail on his S1000RR, winning the feature race by almost six-and-a-half seconds from Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki after nine laps.

Ivan Lintin bagged another impressive rostrum for the Devitt RC Express Kawasaki team in third as the Lincolnshire rider finished some 20 seconds back on race winner Dunlop, who also set the fastest lap of the four-day meeting at 114.099mph, albeit still some way shy of Bradford rider Harrison's 2014 outright lap record of 114.601mph.

Behind the top three, Manxman Dan Kneen took fourth on the Mar-Train Yamaha R1 as he continues his comeback from a broken arm, which saw the Braddan man miss the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.

Jamie Coward (Devitt RC Express Kawasaki) and Ulsterman Seamus Elliott completed the top six in the showpiece event.

It was Dunlop's third triumph in the top-of-the-bill race, which he previously won two years on the trot in 2011 and 2012. The thirteen-time TT winner had also been leading the earlier Island Aggregates Senior race from Harrison when the red flags came out at the start of lap three.

Irish rider Alan Bonner was involved in an incident on the Devitt RC Express Kawasaki but was later reported to have escaped serious injury.

The race was re-started over six laps at the end of the day, with Dunlop cruising to his fourth win from four starts on the Hawk BMW as he headed Ryan Kneen (Kawasaki) by 18.7 seconds, with third spot going to Dan Hegarty (Kawasaki). A number of frontrunners including Harrison, Kneen and Lintin opted not to start the race.

Ballymoney man Dunlop is clearly on a run of terrific form as he builds towards the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod, which takes place from August 10-13.

Before then, the 27-year-old will be eager to retain his 'Race of Legends' crown at his home event at the Armoy Irish National meeting, which takes place on Saturday, July 30. Dunlop has won the showpiece Superbike race on his home patch for the past five consecutive years.

Meanwhile, Harrison completed a double in the Supersport class as he won Thursday's S&S Motors 600cc race by 5.4 seconds from Jamie Coward (Kawasaki), with James Cowton (Honda) clinching the final place on the podium. Ivan Lintin, Colin Stephenson (Yamaha) and Rob Hodson (Suzuki) were the first six.

Isle of Man TT Lightweight champion Lintin also wrapped up a brace in the Supertwin class on the Devitt RC Express Kawasaki, crossing the line to win comfortably by 8.9 seconds from Cowton, with Hodson third. Rhys Hardisty was the top 250cc rider in fourth place on his Honda.

Northern Ireland's Seamus Elliott won the 125/400cc race overall on his Kawasaki 400 by 5.2 seconds from fellow Ballymoney man and Billown newcomer Darryl Tweed, with Adrian Harrison filling the top three places.

Dan Sayle emerged victorious in the 125cc race on the Moto3 Falcon Honda 250, with Paul Robinson from Ballymoney the first GP125 rider across the line. Joey Dunlop's son Gary, making his debut at the event, failed to finish.

History was made in a sensational Manx Gas Sidecar Championship race as Tim Reeves/Patrick Farrance blitzed the lap record to win by 1.2 seconds from Ben and Tom Birchall.

The first ever 100mph laps by a Sidecar outfit were witnessed at Billown, with Reeves and Farrance raising the bar to 100.749mph. The Birchall brothers also made history as they cracked the 100mph barrier, setting their best lap at 100.682mph.

In a scorching race, John Holden/Andy Winkle also topped 100mph on their way to third place, lapping at 100.179mph as the 'chairs' provided a thrilling climax to the 2016 meeting.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Dunlop leads Dean Harrison at the Southern 100.
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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July 17, 2016 11:46 PM

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