TT 2017: Dunlop seals Senior glory for Suzuki
Michael Dunlop clinched Senior TT glory with a virtuoso performance on the Bennetts Suzuki for his 15th island success on Friday.
The race was restarted over four laps after Tyco BMW’s Ian Hutchinson crashed on lap two at the 27th Milestone, sustaining a fractured leg.
The Ballymoney man’s winning margin at the finish was 13.3 seconds over Peter Hickman on the Smiths BMW, with Dean Harrison claiming third on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki, a further 10.1 seconds adrift.
Dunlop’s team fitted a new rear shock to the GSX-RR and he took the race by the scruff of the neck, lapping at 132.292mph from a standing start to open an advantage of 4.2 seconds over Hickman.
The 28-year-old turned the screw on lap two with a blistering speed of 132.903mph on lap two as he slowed for his pit stop, extending his lead to 9.2 seconds.
Dunlop lost a few seconds in the pits to Hickman and the difference between them as they began lap three was down to six seconds.
However, he was quickly back in control at Glen Helen by 7.2 seconds from Hickman, with Harrison in third ahead of James Hillier on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki, Michael Rutter (Bathams SMT BMW) and Josh Brookes on the Norton.
Dunlop completed his third lap at 125.220mph, factoring in his pit stop, and he now had the race at his mercy by 10.6 seconds.
He nursed the Bennetts Suzuki home on the final lap to wrap up a TT double following his victory in the first Supersport race. He has now won 1000cc races at the TT for four different manufacturers, taking wins for Honda, BMW, Kawasaki and Suzuki.
Hickman rounded off a stunning week with his fifth podium from five starts, with Harrison impressing again on his Kawasaki as he sealed the last rostrum spot.
Hillier finished fourth ahead of Michael Rutter on the Bathams SMT BMW, followed by Aussie pair Brookes and Johnson on the Norton machines, who were locked in battle in the closing stages. Brookes came out on top by only 2.6 seconds over his team-mate as both lapped at over 130mph on the final lap.
Manx rider Conor Cummins was eighth on the Padgett’s Honda, with the top ten completed by Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW) and William Dunlop on the Temple Golf Club Yamaha R1.
Bruce Anstey retired from fourth place at Bedstead on the Padgett’s Honda RC213V-S. Derek Sheils and Davy Morgan also failed to finish the race.
Northern Ireland’s Shaun Anderson was an excellent 19th with Brian McCormack and Michael Sweeney 21st and 22nd respectively.