Dunlop Tops Donald & McGuinness in Dainese Superbike TT

Honda TT Legends' Michael Dunlop

2013 Isle of Man TT Dainese Superbike Race Results

The Dainese Superbike TT - the first motorcycle race of the 2013 Isle of Man TT - got underway Sunday instead of its usual Saturday.

The reason the race was delayed was due to the Superbike riders not having enough time on the 37.73-mile Mountain Circuit because rain plagued the qualifying sessions all week.

And when the 6-lap race completed, Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR Fireblade pilot Michael Dunlop took his first Isle of Man TT victory in the superbike class. The 24-year old of Northern Ireland, who averaged 128.747 mph around the course, was joined on the Dainese Superbike TT podium by Honda/Wilson Craig's Cameron Donald and 19-time TT winner John McGuinness.

Michael Dunlop (Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR Fireblade) says: "The Superbike was the main goal for me. 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."

The race was delayed 45 minutes due to a road-traffic accident, but when the action got underway, Dunlop rode with complete determination. He took the lead at Ballaugh on the opening lap, and continued to build his lead, eventually taking the win by 40 seconds ahead of Donald.

Though McGuinness suffered a one-minute pit-lane penalty, he redeemed himself quickly, setting a new lap record on the Mountain Course of 131.671 mph.

When the race began, Lincs Lifting Ltd. Honda rider Gary Johnson set the early pace with a 1.5-second lead over Dunlop at Glen Helen. A further second back was McGuinness.

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.

Dunlop held a 3.2-second lead over the new-second placed rider, TYCO Suzuki's Guy Martin. Johnson slipped into third ahead of McGuinness, Donald and Honda/HM Plant Padgetts' Bruce Anstey.

By Glen Helen on the second lap, Johnson was back up to second, two seconds up on Martin but now 4.4-seconds adrift of the flying Dunlop. 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 second lap though, McGuinness was up to second but some 15 seconds down on Dunlop, who was continuing to pull away after his first-ever 131mph+ lap.

McGuinness’ pit stop was six seconds quicker than third-placed Martin, but Johnson never got that far having retired at the Nook out of fuel so the leader board now read Dunlop, McGuinness, Martin, Donald, Yamaha/Milwaukee Superbike Tea's Conor Cummins and Cummins' William Dunlop. However, the latter incurred a 30-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane dropping him down the order.

Coming into the second pit stop at the end of lap four, Dunlop was the only rider above 130 mph and it stretched his advantage over McGuinness to 30.8-seconds, although that lead soon increased with his Honda TT Legends team-mate being hit with a one-minute pit lane penalty dropping him behind Martin and back to fourth.

Dunlop had now caught McGuinness and Donald on the road with the trio circulating in close formation and all he had to do was continue that for the final laps to claim his fourth TT win.

McGuinness was quick as he desperately tried to get back on the podium. As McGuinness pulled ahead on lap five, sixth-placed Dan Stewart was forced to retire at Sulby Village due to a hole in radiator.

As McGuinness closed in on Martin, Dunlop was able to ease back in the final lap and bring the CBR1000RR home for a famous win, his eventual winning margin over Donald in excess of 40 seconds.

The Australian Donald, like Dunlop, posted a new personal best lap of the Mountain Course, but McGuinness was still able to grab some headlines as he set a new outright lap record on the final circuit, 131.671mph, to claim third from Martin and make it a Honda 1-2-3.

Cummins took a good fifth on the Milwaukee Yamaha, the first time he’d completed a six-lap race since 2009 with the third of the Honda TT Legends riders Michael Rutter in sixth.

Kawasaki Quattro Plant's James Hillier took seventh from Anstey, William Dunlop and the sensational Josh Brookes, the Australian finishing in tenth and becoming the fastest ever newcomer in the process, his final lap being a stunning 127.726 mph aboard the TYCO Suzuki.

In the battle of the privateers, it was Steve Mercer who came out on top in 13th overall, just ahead of Dan Kneen, Ben Wylie and Jamie Hamilton.

As for the American Brandon Cretu, the Honda/Motul rider finished 37th, averaging 114.807 mph.

Monday's race sees the the Monster Energy Supersport race get away at 10:45 a.m. local time, with the Royal London 360 Superstock Race scheduled to take place at  2 p.m.

2013 Isle of Man TT Dainese Superbike TT Results:
1. (6) Michael Dunlop, Honda/Honda TT Legends: 01:45:29.980, 128.747 mph
2. (2) Cameron Donald, Honda/Wilson Craig Racing: 01:46:10.917, 127.920
3. (3) John McGuinness, Honda/Honda TT Legends: 01:46:51.907, 127.102
4. (4) Guy Martin, Suzuki/Tyco Suzuki: 01:46:58.894, 126.964
5. (10) Conor Cummins, Yamaha/Milwaukee Yamaha Superbike Tea: 01:47:30.929, 126.333
6. (8) Michael Rutter, Honda/Honda TT Legends: 01:47:34.670, 126.260
7. (1) James Hillier, Kawasaki/Quattro Plant Kawasaki: 01:47:44.791, 126.063
8. (5) Bruce Anstey, Honda/HM Plant Honda by Padgetts: 01:48:03.974, 125.690
9. (11) William Dunlop, Yamaha/Milwaukee Yamaha Superbike Tea: 01:48:58.482, 124.642
10. (25) Joshua Brookes, Suzuki/Tyco Suzuki: 01:49:39.593, 123.863
11. (14) Dean Harrison, Kawasaki/RC Express racing by MSS Performance:01:49:56.412, 123.547
12. (13) Steve Mercer, BMW/Penz13.Com BMW Racing Team: 01:51:09.262, 122.198
13. (58) Lee Johnston, Honda/East Coast Construction: 01:52:42.309, 120.516
14. (12) Dan Kneen, Suzuki/Marks Bloom Racing: 01:52:50.714, 120.367
15. (18) Ben Wylie, BMW/AFC Motorsport/PerCup Coffee Company: 01:52:54.597, 120.298
16. (47) Jamie Hamilton, Kawasaki/KMR Kawasaki Powered by Vauxh: 01:52:56.779, 120.259
17. (29) Robert Barber, BMW/Swinton Bikes: 01:53:12.738, 119.976
18. (21) Ian Mackman, Norton/NORTON MOTORCYCLES: 01:53:48.509, 119.348
19. (26) Brian McCormack, Kawasaki/KMR Kawasaki Powered by Vauxh: 01:53:58.376, 119.176
20. (15), Ian Lougher, Honda/ILR: 01:54:18.198, 118.831


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