Michael Dunlop gave Tyco BMW an emotional victory in Saturday’s RST Superbike TT race with the Ulsterman taking his 16th victory around the Mountain Course, the perfect tribute to team-mate Dan Kneen who sadly lost his life earlier in the week.
The 29-year old lay in second place for the first half of the race as a combination of Dean Harrison’s stunning pace and problems with the rear shock on his BMW S1000RR left him some 16 seconds adrift of his Kawasaki rival.
However, with Harrison’s clutch beginning to slip towards the end of lap two, the Ballymoney rider was able to bring the deficit down to 11s at half race distance and slashed the gap on lap four before Harrison’s race finally ended at Sulby Crossroads on lap four.
“I wasn’t surprised by Dean’s pace as he’s been riding fantastically well all week, well, for the past year to be fair,” Dunlop said afterwards. “I was struggling in the first two laps with the rear shock not quite working as I would have liked but I dug deep on the third lap and got into my rhythm a bit more. Before I knew it, Dean was out and that made life a bit easier.
“My mechanic Mark has worked his socks off this week, as have all the team, and with the deal coming together quite late in the day, I haven’t been out on the bike as much as I would have liked. Philip and Hector have done everything for me and it’s starting to come together now. We came here with two bikes so it’s been heavy going during practice week swapping between the two all the time but the boys haven’t stopped working and we’ve constantly chipped away.
“It’s nice to win another race but you need to ride hard and need to up the ante as sub-17m laps are what’s required. I’m still a bit away from where I want to be so there’s more to come.
“It’s been a hard week for everyone in the team and whilst there’s nothing that can be said or done to make things better for Dan’s family, hopefully that gives them a little something.”