Tag: Michael Dunlop

Derek McGee Man of the Meeting at Armoy as Michael Dunlop secures seventh Race of Legends win

Derek McGee Man of the Meeting at Armoy as Michael Dunlop secures seventh Race of Legends win

Whilst all eyes were on Michael Dunlop as he secured his seventh Race of Legends feature race win in a row, it was Derek McGee who came away from the weekend as Man of the Meeting.

The Mullingar man was awarded the accolade after accumulating the most points with a win in the first Supersport race, second in the second Supersport race and the Open, and fourth in the Grand Final.

Practice sessions were held on Friday with times counting for qualifying, with the first two races taking place on Friday evening. In the Senior Support race it was two Armoy newcomers battling for the win. Joe Loughlin – who has been in control of the Junior/Senior Support classes all year – ultimately lost out to Adam Lyon, with the Scottish rider coming from the second group to win on corrected time by just over three seconds. David Howard joined the pair on the podium.

The first Supersport race was red flagged twice and the result was eventually declared after just two racing laps. The first red flag was caused by a incident involving Adam McLean and Paul Jordan. Both riders were OK and returned to the paddock on the back of marshals bikes. When the race was restarted it was red flagged again when weather conditions took a turn for the worse. A heavy downpour coupled with Michael Dunlop’s bike blowing up and leaving oil on the track meant that racing was halted for the night. McGee was declared the winner with road racing newcomer Davey Todd finishing second and Christian Elkin third.

On Saturday changeable weather conditions greeted race organisers and riders but a full programme was run with limited disruption. First up was Junior Support run over seven laps and this race was won by Loughlin who beat Marc Ironside and Glenn Walker. Then came Moto 3/125 won by Elkin riding a Moto 3. McLean was second and the leading 125 rider while Paul Robinson completed the podium in third. Ian Lougher finished fourth just shy of a second ahead of Gary Dunlop in fifth.

The second Supersport race was won by M Dunlop but he didn’t have it all his own way. McGee initially took the lead as Dunlop came through from seventh on the grid. He progressed up the order, overtaking Elkin at the start of the second lap before slotting into second by passing McLean at the start of lap three. He then closed down McGee’s leading margin before overtaking him and eventually securing a three second victory. James Cowton was third ahead of Todd (from the second group), McLean and newcomer Joey Thompson.

There was a red flag incident following three laps of the Classic race and a slight delay as an oil spill was cleared up. Ed Manly was the eventual winner when the race was re-run over four laps. He was joined on the podium by Wattie Brown and Barry Davidson.

Race seven of the event was the Open race and this saw M Dunlop achieve his second win of the day. The race was declared wet following a downpour just before the start and riders were given a sighting lap with the view of returning to the paddock to change tyres should they decide to. McGee returned to the grid straight away and revealed that most of the track – apart from the start – was wet. There was another warm up lap before a six lap race and it was McGee – riding his Kawasaki 600 – who took the initial lead. He started to pull away but M Dunlop soon caught and passed him, eventually winning by just over 4.5 seconds. William Dunlop crossed the line in third after catching and passing Cowton, but it was Todd who took the podium with corrected time from the second group. Paul Jordan was fifth on the IMR Evolution Camping BMW ahead of Cowton, Thompson, Mark Goodings, Dominic Herbertson and Forest Dunn.

Another rain downpour brought a red flag out in the Lightweight Supersport race but it wasn’t delayed for long. Neil Kernohan was the eventual winner, beating Darryl Tweed (who was the first 400cc rider) and Callum Laidlaw. McGee took the win in the Supertwin class after an exciting battle with McLean. The latter had been holding onto second place until the last lap when he was passed by Cowton. Elkin finished in fourth ahead of Michael Sweeney, Brad Vicars and Paul Gartland.

The penultimate race of the meeting was the second Senior Support and this time Loughlin got the better of Lyon, who came from the second group. The pair were once again joined on the podium by Howard who beat Ironside, Tommy Henry, Stephen McKeown and Alan Johnston.

Following a sighting lap and then a warm-up, the Grand Final – the Race of Legends – was run over seven laps. M Dunlop was in a class of his own on his Hawk Racing Suzuki, as he romped to a 12 second win over his brother William. Sweeney finished the race in third place, mere tenths of a second off second. McGee was fourth ahead of Cowton, Thompson, Todd and Jordan. Davy Morgan led the second group riders to finish in ninth, beating Goodings, Herbertson, Graham Kennedy, Vicars, Dunn and Laidlaw.

While McGee secured Man of the Meeting, Loughlin was named Support Man of the Meeting.

 

Advertisements

Michael Dunlop storms to Senior TT win

Michael Dunlop has notched up his 15th Isle of Man TT victory with a convincing with in the Senior TT.

The race was red flagged on the second lap and re-run over a four lap distance. Dunlop was able to use the stoppage to fix a problem at the rear of his bike and stormed to a 14 second victory over Peter Hickman. It was Hickman’s fifth podium of the week – from five race starts – and the second place gave him enough points to secure the Joey Dunlop TT Championship. Dean Harrison ended the race in third place for his second podium of the week.

James Hillier ended the race in fourth place just tenths of a second clear of Michael Rutter in fifth. The Norton pair of Josh Brookes and David Johnson finished sixth and seventh respectively ahead of local rider Conor Cummins. Martin Jessopp ended the race in ninth place with William Dunlop rounding out the top ten.

Outside the top ten were Jamie Coward, Dan Kneen, and Daley Mathison in 11th, 12th and 13th while Daniel Hegarty finished 14th. James Cowton ended the race in 15th ahead of Gary Johnson and Philip Crowe. Horst Saiger was 18th despite high siding at Gooseneck on lap one of the original race. Shaun Anderson and Dominic Herbertson rounded out the top 20 finishers.

Retirements from the race included Jim Hodson, Davy Morgan, Anthony Redmond, Steve Mercer and Ivan Lintin. Bruce Anstey was a retirement at the end of the second lap having been running in a podium position. The first running of the Senior was red flagged following an incident involving Ian Hutchinson at the 27th Milestone. He was airmed to Nobles conscious and was later reported to have fractured his femur.

Michael Dunlop takes win number 14 with Supersport victory

Michael Dunlop was the victorious rider in today’s Supersport race, beating James Hillier and Peter Hickman.

The Ballymoney man had suffered disappointment in yesterday’s Superbike race when his bike broke down on the second lap, but he led across the line for three of the four Supersport laps. Hillier finished on the podium after missing out yesterday while Hickman finished in third again. Rain earlier in the day delayed proceedings and many riders were cautious on the first lap while they assessed road conditions.

William Dunlop lost third place at the end of lap three and eventually finished in fourth place while Ian Hutchinson came home fifth nearly a minute off Michael Dunlop. Gary Johnson finished in sixth ahead of Bruce Anstey, Dan Kneen, Conor Cummins and James Cowton. Josh Brookes was 11th with Martin Jessopp 12th, Ivan Lintin 13th, Craig Neve 14th and Andrew Dudgeon 15th.

Daley Mathison ended the race 16th, beating Horst Saiger. Newcomer Adam Mclean was an impressive 18th in his first ever TT race ahead of Daniel Cooper and Daniel Hegarty.

Dean Harrison, Davy Morgan, Mike Russell, and Rob Hodson were amongst the race retirements all OK. Tom Weeden was taken by airmed to Nobles for chest and back injuries. Guy Martin opted to sit out of the race following his accident yesterday when he crashed at Doran’s Bend on lap one of the Superbike race.

Dunlop’s win draws him level with Mike Hailwood with 14 TT wins.

Ian Hutchinson wins opening Superbike TT race

Ian Hutchinson has taken the first win of the week, beating Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison.

The weather has wrecked havoc with the weeks’ practice sessions but ideal conditions greeted riders for the first race of 10 this week. David Johnson led them away at 2pm for the opening Superbike race.

James Hillier took the early lead at Glen Helen, leading Harrison by just eight tenths of a second with Hutchinson third. Michael Dunlop soon got himself into contention by Ballaugh, moving into third place. He was leading the race by the Bungalow and was leading when he retired on lap two. Harrison became the new leader with Hillier second and Hutchinson third.

The first lot of pit stops took place at the end of lap two and it was the Padgetts Racing crew who completed the fastest stop – 52 seconds for Bruce Anstey. Hutchinson’s Tyco BMW crew completed their stop in 55 seconds – five seconds quicker than Harrison and Hickman who was third at the end of the second lap. The battle for the win continued between Harrison and Hutchinson before the latter took control at the Bungalow on lap four. With just seven tenths of a second his advantage over Harrison he pulled the pin and upped it to nearly ten seconds by the start of the fifth lap.

By lap five Harrison had dropped down to fourth and Hutchinson was leading Hillier and Hickman. It became a two horse race on the sixth and final lap when Hickman slashed the gap to just 2.5 seconds. The gap came down to 1.6 seconds by Ramsey but it increased from there and Hutchinson had a five second advantage by the end of the race. Hickman finished in second with Harrison returning to third place. Hillier was fourth ahead of Dan Kneen, Michael Rutter, and David Johnson. Josh Brookes, William Dunlop, and Martin Jessopp completed the top ten.

Horst Saiger came home to finish 11th ahead of Sam West, Anstey, Philip Crowe, Jamie Coward and Dan Stewart. Brian McCormack got a time penalty for exceeding pit lane speeds and finished 17th. Stefano Bonetti, Mark Parrett, and Michael Sweeney completed the top 20.

There were a number of retirements from the race including a very early one for Guy Martin who came off uninjured at Dorans on lap one. Michael Dunlop retired from the race lead on lap two while Derek Sheils, Dan Cooper and Ivan Lintin were retirements in the pits. Gary Johnson, Fabrice Miguet, and local favourite Conor Cummins also retired. Davey Lambert was involved in an incident and is in a critical condition in hospital.

2017: North West 200 Round-Up

The 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 saw records broken and extended, new winners and what has been dubbed one of the most exciting races at the event ever.

Practice

Dry and sunny conditions greeted riders for Tuesday and Thursday’s practice sessions and they were able to complete a number of laps in preparation for the racing. Newcomers got the event underway with their practice session on Tuesday morning, giving riders such as Mark Purslow, Joey Thompson, and Neil Kernohan their first taste of the Triangle circuit.

In Tuesday practice Alistair Seeley topped the times in both the Superbike and Supersport classes – the Carrickfergus man aiming to extend his most wins record after surpassing Robert Dunlop’s win tally last year. Martin Jessopp was fastest in the Supertwin class while Michael Rutter led a tight Superstock class. Race organisers and sponsors were left with red faces when the Superstock session had to be red flagged after just a couple of minutes when the course car got stuck on the apex of the chicane at the end of the start finish straight.

On Thursday it was the same men fastest again this time with Seeley topping the Supersport and Superstock times while Rutter went fastest in the Superbike session. Jessopp continued as the fastest Supertwin rider. The Superbike session – the last of the practice sessions – was red flagged following an incident involving John McGuinness. He crashed at Primrose corner and was taken to hospital in Belfast. The Honda team reported that he had a compound fracture to his right lower leg, four broken vertebrae, and three broken back ribs. The team subsequently withdrew Guy Martin from the Superstock and Superbike races as they were unable to investigate the cause of McGuinness’ crash.

Races

Conditions remained dry for Thursday racing and first on the race schedule was the first of two Supersport races. Seeley started from pole and was the man to beat having been fastest in both practice sessions. He failed to complete the first lap, however, pulling into the pits with a bike problem. It was Jessopp from the second row who went on to win after a race long battle with Ian Hutchinson. Both had spells at the front but it was Jessopp who went on to take the victory – his first ever win at the North West 200. James Hillier completed the podium finishers ahead of Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston.

Seeley did not face any problems in the Superstock class as he romped to a 12 second victory over Johnston. He didn’t have it all his own way, however, as Rutter led across the line on the second lap but the Bathams rider unfortunately retired from the race. Seeley and Johnston were joined on the podium by Harrison – his first rostrum result at the event. Hutchinson was fourth with Jessopp coming home in fifth place.

Like waiting for a bus, Jessopp found that after waiting for one North West 200 win that two come along at once. He started from pole position and crossed the line in the lead on every lap. Rutter – a last minute entry to the class on Ryan Farquhar’s KMR bike – was a close second just eight tenths back. Ivan Lintin was third ahead of Dan Cooper and Derek Sheils. Johnston had been considered a contender for the race win but struggled to get away for the warm-up lap and despite a push and getting away, he didn’t make the start. Jessopp also set a new lap record on his way to victory.

The weather was not as kind on Saturday and riders were faced with wet conditions. Up first on the schedule was the second Supersport race.

Riders were given two sighting laps before the race and it eventually got underway in damp conditions. The rain came on during the race and a number of riders raised their hands to get the race stopped at the end of lap 4 however it kept going for the full six. It was Seeley who won, four seconds clear of William and Michael Dunlop. It had been William who led across the line when the conditions deteriorated, but Michael Dunlop suggested after the race that his older brother’s face “didn’t fit the picture” which is why the race wasn’t stopped. Cookstown 100 race winner Adam McLean was an impressive fourth place – just a couple of seconds off a podium – with Hutchinson fifth.

There was a lengthy delay before the next race of the day due to the weather conditions. The Superbikes did get out for a sighting lap but it was red flagged due to oil on the track from Michael Dunlop’s Suzuki. With rain getting heavier it wasn’t until around 3pm in the afternoon when racing resumed. Seeley stormed to a dominant victory over Rutter and Johnston. He was 21 seconds clear by the end of the last lap with Rutter a comfortable seven seconds ahead of Johnston. Irwin was fourth in his first Superbike race appearance at the North West 200 while Peter Hickman finished fifth.

While Seeley extended his win record to 20, Rutter – the next most successful current rider – added another victory to his tally. He took a hard fought win in the Supertwin race after narrowly missing out to Jessopp on Thursday. Rutter led after every lap but could not shake off Cooper who finished just six tenths down. Jessopp finished the race in third place ahead of Michael Sweeney and Marty Lennon. It was a particularly special victory for Rutter as he won for Ryan Farquhar who was involved in a near fatal accident at the event last year. The win was Rutter’s 14th around the Triangle circuit putting him just one win off Robert Dunlop’s 15.

The second Superstock race proved to be yet another victory for Seeley, bringing his win record to 21. The race was red flagged on the fifth lap, leaving Seeley the winner as he crossed the line leading on the previous lap. He very narrowly beat Hutchinson – just two tenths separated the two riders. Rutter joined the pair on the podium with Johnston finishing fourth. The top four were separated by under a second while Hickman was just slightly further back in fifth. Riders were not impressed afterwards that the race had not been red flagged sooner – with a number raising their hands to indicate conditions were too difficult.

The Vauxhall North West 200 race – the feature race of the event – proved to be the most exciting of the day as three riders battled hard for the lead. It was a race long fight between Irwin, Seeley and Hutchinson. Irwin led across the line each time after perfectly timing his move onto the coast road each time. Seeley was able to take advantage through the long slipstreaming sections but Irwin was able to keep with him. Seeley was even onto the grass on the run to University at one stage but he lost nothing as he kept with the front two. Eventually the top three finished just seven tenths apart when Irwin pulled a well timed move on Seeley on the final lap. Hutchinson finished in second with Michael Dunlop fourth. Rutter completed a highly successful North West 200 for him in fifth place. There were huge cheers around the circuit when Irwin crossed the line to win on only his second appearance at the event. He previously raced at the North West 200 in 2015 on a Supersport but he broke down during the race while at the front.

Alistair Seeley’s win record around the North West 200 now stands at 21. Both he and Michael Rutter surpassed Philip McCallen’s podium record of 28. Seeley now has 32 North West 200 podiums while Rutter has 31. Riders will now head to the Isle of Man for TT fortnight (27th May – 9th June).

 

 

Michael Rutter fastest in truncated Superbike session

Michael Rutter topped the times in a shortened Superbike session following 25 minutes of running. His lap time of 4:23.943 was 1.7 seconds better than Glenn Irwin’s best effort.

It was Michael Dunlop who ended the session third fastest with a time of 4:25.756, ahead of Martin Jessopp and Peter Hickman. William Dunlop was sixth fastest with James Hillier seventh and Superstock and Supersport pole sitter Alistair Seeley eighth fastest. Lee Johnston and Dean Harrison were ninth and tenth respectively.  The session was red flagged following an incident involving John McGuinness at Primrose. The Honda rider has been taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg.

The remainder of the session was abandoned with 20 minutes left to run due to roads needing to be open within half an hour.

Outside of the top 10 Derek Sheils finished up 11th ahead of McGuinness, Bruce Anstey, Dan Kneen and Jamie Coward.

  1. Michael Rutter 4:23.943
  2. Glenn Irwin 4:25.655
  3. Michael Dunlop 4:25.756
  4. Martin Jessopp 4:26.192
  5. Peter Hickman 4:29.455 

Supersport pole for Alistair Seeley at North West 200

Alistair Seeley continued his fast form with the fastest time in Thursday’s Supersport session. He did a 4:36.444 on his Gearlink Kawasaki to end up 1.2 seconds faster than Lee Johnston. 

A late flyer for Michael Dunlop saw him go third fastest with a 4:38.978. Martin Jessopp finished up fourth fastest ahead of Dean Harrison and James Hillier. Peter Hickman ended the session with the seventh fastest time beating Ian Hutchinson and William Dunlop. Dunlop had had problems with his bike during Tuesday’s session so his lap time was of added importance. Adam McLean rounded out the top ten with an impressive performance.

John McGuinness was just two tenths of a second off a top ten qualifying finish, ahead of Bruce Anstey and James Cowton. Paul Jordan and Jamie Coward rounded out the top 15 fastest riders. 

  1. Alistair Seeley – 4:36.444
  2. Lee Johnston – 4:37.666
  3. Michael Dunlop – 4:38.978
  4. Martin Jessopp – 4:39.512
  5. Dean Harrison – 4:39.667