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TT 2013: Emotional Dunlop seals first Superbike win

2 June 2013

Honda TT Legends rider Michael Dunlop claimed his first victory in the blue riband class with a stunning triumph in today's Superbike TT.

Dunlop had been tipped as a major threat to 19-times winner and team-mate John McGuinness and the Ulsterman didn't disappoint as he took command of the six-lap race on the opening lap and never looked back.

He stretched his advantage at the front with every lap that passed, eventually taking a dominant victory – his fourth win on the Mountain Course – by 40.937 seconds from Australia's Cameron Donald.

McGuinness, who picked up a 60-second time penalty for speeding in pit lane at the end of the fourth lap during the second pit-stops, produced a sizzling final lap to smash his 2009 outright lap record with a speed of 131.67mph to snatch the final place on the podium from Tyco Suzuki's Guy Martin.

McGuinness's Honda Fireblade was painted in the same red and black livery of Isle of Man TT legend Joey Dunlop's Formula One-winning SP1 from 2000 in a special tribute to mark the 30th anniversary of Joey's first TT victory for Honda.

The 41-year-old Morecambe rider also wore a set of matching leathers and a version of Joey's famous yellow helmet during the race.

But the day belonged to Dunlop, who has boosted his tally of TT victories to four, adding a blue riband triumph to his previous Supersport and Superstock wins and setting his fastest ever lap of the Mountain circuit at 131.194mph.

“It's fantastic and I can't thank enough people. It hasn't sunk in yet and it's unreal,” he said.

“I've always wanted a Superbike win. I love the bike and I can't say enough about the lads.

“I took it easy on the final laps. Honda put a great bike together and it shows how good the bike is when you have three Hondas on the podium.

“People do not understand what it means to me to win a Superbike race here.”

McGuinness, who had been undefeated in any Superbike race he had finished at the TT since 2003, added: "I can't win them all. I don't know what happened in that second pit stop.

"Obviously it's my fault and I'll take it on the chin because they're the rules.

"I'd ridden hard for five laps and on that last lap I just pushed and pushed, giving it everything I could and I'm just pleased I was able to nick the podium back," he added.

"I'm so proud to wear the Joey Dunlop colours from 2000. I was in the same position on the podium with him in the Superbike race that year, and now here I am next to another Dunlop.

"I wanted to win but it wasn't be. I'm on the podium and the consolation is the lap record."

Tyco Suzuki's Martin finished fourth, with Conor Cummins on the Milwaukee Yamaha and Michael Rutter on a third Honda Legends machine completing the top six.

James Hillier (Quattro Plant Kawasaki), Bruce Anstey (HM Plant/Padgett's Honda), William Dunlop (Milwaukee Yamaha) and Josh Brookes on the Tyco Suzuki were the top ten.

British Superbike Championship star Brookes became the fastest ever newcomer in TT history as the Australian lapped the 37.73-mile course at 127.726mph on his final lap to break Steve Plater's previous record of 125mph.

Lincolnshire's Gary Johnson had been in contention for a rostrum finish until his Honda Fireblade ran out of fuel at the end of the second lap.

The Superbike TT had been postponed by a day to allow the Superbike riders additional qualifying time after practice week was hit by poor weather.


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