ISLE OF MAN – Michael Dunlop took his first ever Superbike TT victory on Sunday afternoon at the Isle of Man TT Races fueled by Monster Energy, taking the lead at Ballaugh on the opening lap and going on to build a commanding 40 second lead at the finish.
Fellow Honda riders Cameron Donald and John McGuinness finished second and third, the latter overcoming a one-minute pit-lane penalty to set a new outright lap record on the final lap.
After a 45-minute delay due to a road traffic accident, the six-lap race finally got underway at 3.00pm and it was Gary Johnson who set the early pace, the Lincs Lifting Ltd Honda rider holding a 1.5s lead over Dunlop at Glen Helen on lap one with McGuinness a further second back.
By Ballaugh Dunlop had taken over at the front, turning the deficit to Johnson into a one second advantage and with an opening lap of 130.842mph, the Honda TT Legends rider held a 3.2s lead over new second placed rider Guy Martin, Johnson now in third ahead of McGuinness, Donald and Bruce Anstey.
By Glen Helen on lap two, Johnson was back up to second, two seconds up on Martin but now 4.4 seconds adrift of the flying Dunlop whilst McGuinness, riding in complete Joey Dunlop livery to celebrate 30 years since the 26-times winner’s first victory for Honda, was still, surprisingly, back in fourth. By the end of the lap though, he was up to second but some 15 seconds down on Dunlop who was continuing to pull away after his first ever 131 mph+ lap.