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Michael Dunlop winds up Classic SBK pace at Manx GP on Suzuki 

Manx GP
Michael Dunlop, Team Classic Suzuki, Suzuki GSX-R750, 2023 Manx Grand Prix, Manx GP, action, [credit - ManxGP]

Michael Dunlop assumed the early initiative in the headline Classic Superbike class as the 2023 Manx Grand Prix kicked off with the first days of qualifying practice ahead of a packed-programme for race week.

Though a cancellation of Monday’s evening sessions did its bit to limit track time since the event - celebrating its centenary this year - began on Sunday, three days of running has allowed Dunlop to establish a comfortable performance advantage on his rivals over a single lap.

Riding the Team Classic Suzuki GSX-R750, Dunlop topped each Classic Superbike session on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, peaking with a best of 125.699mph during the latter’s afternoon outing.

Michael Dunlop, Team Classic Suzuki, Suzuki GSX-R750, 2023 Manx Grand Prix, Manx GP, action, [credit - ManxGP]

It gave him a comfortable single lap margin over David Johnson in second place, the Australian leading the chase on his Alasdair Cowan Racing Kawasaki ZX-R750 and a 124.433mph lap, while Dean Harrison showed promise on his head-turning Ducati 916 a little further adrift on 124.256mph.

Knocking on the door of the top three after three of five qualifying practice sessions to take place on the Isle of Man this first week, Rob Hodson (Greenall Kawasaki ZX-R750) and Dominic Herbertson (BHR Kawasaki ZX-750) ensured they remain well in contention with 124.127mph and 124.116mph effort respectively.

Dean Harrison, Key Racing, Ducati 916, 2023 Manx Grand Prix, Manx GP, action [credit - ManxGP]

Beyond the top five, Craig Neve (Alasdair Cowan Racing Kawasaki), Michael Rutter (Bathams Suzuki), Julian Trummer (TC Racing Kawasaki), Brian McCormack (Greenall Kawasaki) and Derek Shiels (Greenall Kawasaki) completed the top ten as the remaining riders to break the 120mph barrier.

In the other racing categories, John McGuinness led the way in the Classic Senior MGP on his Winfield Team Racing Paton as the first rider to exceed 110mph, the TT legend followed by Dean Harrison (Craven  MV Agusta) and Shaun Anderson (Paton).

Dunlop, meanwhile, returned to course aboard his MD Racing Honda RS250 head up the MGP Lightweight division, ahead of Ian Lougher (Yamaha) and Dan Syle (Honda).

Qualifying practice continues on Thursday and into Friday before the first of six races - the Lightweight Manx Grand Prix - kicks off on Friday evening.

Manx Grand Prix - Classic Superbike [Top 10]

Fastest Lap Speeds after 3 of 5 Qualifying Practice Sessions

2023 Manx Grand Prix | Classic Superbike Results - Combined Fastest Laps | 3/5 Practice Sessions | Weds 23/8
RiderTeamMotorcycleBest Speed
1Michael DunlopTeam Classic SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R750125.699
2David JohnsonAlasdair Cowan RacingKawasaki ZX-R750124.433
3Dean HarrisonKey RacingDucati 916124.256
4Rob HodsonGreenall RacingKawasaki ZX-R750124.127
5Dominic HerbertsonBHR RacingKawasaki ZX-R750124.116
6Craig NeveAlasdair Cowan RacingKawasaki ZX-R750123.814
7Michael RutterBathams AlesSuzuki XR69122.898
8Julian TrummerTC Racing / DP ColdplaningKawasaki ZX-R750122.302
9Brian McCormackGreenall RacingKawasaki ZX-R750122.189
10Derek ShielsGreenall RacingKawasaki ZX-R750121.149

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