Hawk BMW’s Michael Dunlop made it four win from four starts at this year’s Southern 100 International Road Races with victory today in both the Manx Gas Solo Championship and re-started Island Aggregates Senior.
The red flagged Senior set the scene for the battle between Michael Dunlop and Silicone Kawasaki’s Dean Harrison during the Manx Gas Solo race. With perfect conditions, the start of the prestigious race saw Harrison take the early lead with Dunlop back in third, but with Dunlop on the attack it was only a matter of time before the leadership position changed.
By Cross Fore Ways the 27 year-old had pulled a 3.7s gap over Harrison from a standing start and with the Hawk Racing machinery never missing a beat the lead over Harrison continued to grow. Lap four saw Michael beat his own personal best lap record (113.922 set in 2013) clocking a 114.099. Dunlop went on to cross the finish line more than seven seconds ahead of runner-up Harrison.
With the rest of the afternoon's racing going to plan, the Southern 100 organisers managed to re-organise Senior 1000cc Race for the end of the day.
Dunlop started the final race on pole position and was clean away from the grid leading the pack with an advantage of five seconds over Ryan Kneen. Pleasing the crowds both man and machinery worked well together, as they had done in the three previous races, and comfortably extended the lead, lap by lap. With no competition in sight, Michael pulled the big bike up into a wheelie and sailed past the chequered flag a full 15 seconds ahead of the rest of the class.
"The Solo Championship is the one people come here to win. I had a good first and second lap, the bike was fantastic. Thanks to Steve, Mark, Tommy and Stuart at home and all of my own sponsors too. I did struggle with the brakes, but it wasn't anything major,” said Dunlop.
“I haven't rode that bike since the TT and I enjoy riding it, it was good to be back on-board and to take the third win. When we heard the Senior race was to be re-scheduled we tried something different with the bike, it didn't make the difference, but at least we now know this for future races. I am really comfortable on the big bike and to come away with four wins is great."