After being delayed by a day due to qualifying being pushed back from continuing inclement weather during the week, the Isle of Man TT Superbike race finally got underway at 3:00pm local time. Honda TT Legends’ Michael Dunlop—who qualified quickest on Friday—took the lead from his first lap and continued to build it to the end, crossing the finish with a 40-second lead over Wilson Craig Honda’s Cameron Donald. Dunlop—who is the legendary Joey Dunlop’s nephew—took his fourth TT victory with the win, and his first in the Superbike class.
There was drama behind the two leaders however, with Dunlop’s Honda TT Legends teammate John McGuinness—who was in second at the time, and running a replica livery of the late Joey Dunlop as a tribute—being penalized 60 seconds for exceeding the pitlane speed limit on his second stop. This dropped him to fourth behind Tyco Suzuki’s Guy Martin, but McGuinness proceeded to stun onlookers with a blistering final lap that saw the acknowledged new King of the Mountain set the new TT outright lap record of 131.671 mph (breaking his own lap record from 2010 of 131.578 mph).
Martin’s Tyco Suzuki teammate and TT newcomer Josh Brookes—the Australian British Superbike regular who is partaking in some public road races this year—also made headlines by demolishing the newcomer lap record with a 127.726 mph lap (the previous record set by Steve Plater in 2007 was 125.808mph). Brookes finished the race in 10th place.
Michael Dunlop grabbed the...
Michael Dunlop grabbed the lead on the first lap of the Isle of Man TT Superbike race and easily took his fourth TT win of his career.
“The Superbike was the main goal for me,” said Dunlop after his victory. “It’s been a dream of mine and it honestly hasn’t sunk in yet that I’ve won it. I never got to ride with Joey so when I caught John on the road in the tribute livery it was kind of weird and I had to think twice that it wasn’t Joey. John was so smooth and he’s taken over the title of King of the Mountain, so to sit behind him and follow those lines was just fantastic. It was a very special moment. The Superbike was just unbelievable, it handled lovely and I can’t thank Honda and the team enough.”
"King of the Mountain" John...
"King of the Mountain" John McGuinness was running second when he was penalized for exceeding the pitlane speed limit; he charged on his final lap to finish third and set a new outright lap record for the TT.
McGuinness was disappointed with third but took consolation in the new lap record. “I can’t win them all,” said McGuinness. “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. I’m so proud to wear the Joey Dunlop colors 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 to be. I’m on the podium and the consolation is the lap record.”
Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes...
Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes set the newcomer lap record while on his way to 10th place in the Superbike race.
"I knew that last lap was fast and I really enjoyed it,” said Brookes about his newcomer lap record, “but this place is so much more physical than I thought it would be. There are so many factors that you have to consider like a full tank of fuel down into places like Quarter Bridge and getting caught up behind other riders, but I have massive respect for this place. Thanks to all the boys for a big effort. I think I deserve a beer tonight!"
Isle of Man TT Superbike race results:
1. Michael Dunlop (Honda) 1:45:29.980 – 128.747 mph
2. Cameron Donald (Honda) 1:46:10.917 – 127.920 mph
3. John McGuinness (Honda) 1:46:51.907 – 127.102 mph
4. Guy Martin (Suzuki) 1:46:58.894 – 126.964 mph
5. Conor Cummins (Yamaha) 1:47:30.929 – 126.333 mph
6. Michael Rutter (Honda) 1:47:34.670 – 126.260 mph
7. James Hillier (Kawasaki) 1:47:44.791 – 126.063 mph
8. Bruce Anstey (Honda) 1:48:03.974 – 125.690 mph
9. William Dunlop (Yamaha) 1:48:58.482 – 124.642 mph
10. Joshua Brookes* (Suzuki) 1:49:39.593 – 123.863 mph