The im­pos­si­ble made pos­si­ble

Michael Dun­lop wins on new Suzuki af­ter a dif­fi­cult week

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - By Stephen Dav­i­son ROAD RAC­ING RE­PORTER

To­day we have made the im­pos­si­ble pos­si­ble,” Michael Dun­lop de­clared af­ter win­ning the Se­nior TT on the Ben­netts Suzuki. The 28-year-old raced the un­tried new GSX-R1000RR to vic­tory in a four-lap Se­nior race that was restarted af­ter Tyco BMW’S Ian Hutchin­son crashed out of the ini­tial race on lap two.

The Bal­ly­money man took the che­quered flag 13.3 sec­onds ahead of Peter Hick­man on his Smith’s BMW with Dean Harrison third on the Sil­i­cone En­gi­neer­ing Kawasaki 10 sec­onds fur­ther back.

“We won the race with a brand new man­u­fac­turer and a brand new bike,” Dun­lop smiled. “It says a lot about me as a per­son and as a rider and it says a lot about the team too.”

Dun­lop had de­clared he wanted to “stop the dom­i­nance”– re­fer­ring to BMW’S re­cent suc­cess at the TT. He brought the Ger­man man­u­fac­turer’s win­ning streak in the last five big-bike races – two of which he won him­self, to a grind­ing halt with his Suzuki suc­cess.

“This is the race ev­ery­one wants to win,” he said.“it’s the one they talk about and I have got it – I’ve won it and I’m up to 15 TTS. That’s some­thing spe­cial.”

The story could have been very dif­fer­ent for Dun­lop had Hutchy not dropped his Tyco BMW S1000RR at the 27th mile­stone in the orig­i­nal race start. The Suzuki rider had been strug­gling to stay with his arch ri­val and early leader, Peter Hick­man as he bat­tled sus­pen­sion is­sues.

“We made some changes to the sus­pen­sion be­fore the restart but, gen­uinely, I could have done them in the pits,” he said, dis­miss­ing any con­cerns.

“Af­ter my pit stop I could have come out strong. I needed to get in to the pits to get things changed.”

With those al­ter­ations made dur­ing the in­ter­val, Dun­lop stormed into the lead of the restart, open­ing a gap of four sec­onds on Peter Hick­man by the end of lap one with a stand­ing-start speed of 132.292mph.

“I got my head down from the start and said ‘it’s time to break th­ese boys’ and that was the plan from the word go,” Dun­lop said.

A sec­ond lap of 132.903 mph – the fastest of the week – as he slowed for his pit stop, gave him an unas­sail­able win­ning mar­gin. Such was Dun­lop’s pace on those open­ing laps that he ac­tu­ally lapped in 16 min­utes 58.7 sec­onds at 133.334mph from Glen He­len to Glen He­len, a stun­ning speed given the com­plaints made by many of the op­po­si­tion con­cern­ing the lack of grip on the Moun­tain course fol­low­ing a week of bad weather.

“That was steady,” Dun­lop said with mas­sive un­der­state­ment when in­formed of his time.“i did another 133mph, sub-17-minute lap on a brand­new mo­tor­bike. I was real gen­tle with the bike with the down-shift, the gearchanges and the short-shift­ing so it just goes to show how well the bike was work­ing. There was a lot of spinning up out there to­day and I don’t think the grip was the same as the year be­fore. So it’s a good lap and the Suzuki has so much more to come from it.”

Dun­lop crit­i­cised those who had used the con­di­tions as an ex­cuse for be­ing slower at TT 2017. “There was cry­ing af­ter the 600cc race about it be­ing damp and it was said if there had been bet­ter con­di­tions other peo­ple would have done well,” he said.

“Then the Bir­challs broke the lap record on the side­car. The con­di­tions to­day were still fan­tas­tic, even if they were not as good as they were last year.”

Dun­lop paid trib­ute to the pace of the men who shared the Se­nior ros­trum with him.

“You can’t take it away from Peter Hick­man or Dean Harrison though – they are rid­ing hard,” he said.

Ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion came af­ter he lost out to Hutchy in the Su­per­bike race when his Suzuki broke down.

“I was gut­ted af­ter the Su­per­bike race and I think I could have won the race no prob­lem at all, but I had to get up from that,” he said.

‘Dun­lop lapped at 133.334mph from Glen He­len to Glen He­len’

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