Michael Dunlop made it two wins from two at the Ulster GP when he took a scintillating first Supersport race from brother William. There was nothing to choose between the two siblings as William led for the majority of the race and whilst they battled together, Kiwi Bruce Anstey closed in on the final lap. Michael sealed the win though with an overtaking manoeuvre at the Hairpin and when William ran slightly wide on the entry to the Quarry Bends, his chance had gone.
“That was just a great race,” said Dunlop, “good, hard and honest racing. William was riding really well and his bike had the legs on mine but I kept plugging away and it paid off. We had a new engine for the race and it was a really enjoyable battle.”
The initial race was red flagged but on the re-start, there was only one second between the leading seven at the end of the first lap and it was Cameron Donald who led from Keith Amor, William Dunlop, Michael Dunlop, Gary Johnson and Bruce Anstey. William soon took over from team-mate Donald as the freight train snaked its round the Dundrod course but Johnson tripped himself up at the Hairpin towards the end of lap two and ran straight on, crossing the line in 18th and ultimately retiring.
Back at the front though and the two Dunlops began to pull away, albeit by just a second from the chasing pack and on lap four, Michael took the lead on the run towards the Windmill only for William to hit straight back. As they battled it out, Anstey was slowly moving his way on to their back wheel and as they went into the final lap it was a three-way battle. William appeared to be in the driving seat but Michael was always on his back wheel and he slipped up the inside at the Hairpin and held on until the chequered flag.
Anstey left his charge a little bit too late but still took third ahead of Donald, Martin and John McGuinness as Keith Amor crashed out at Leathemstown on the final lap fortunately without injury. Wayne Hamilton, Ryan Farquhar, Ian Lougher and Dan Kneen rounded out the top ten, the latter coming through from the second wave.
A disappointed William reflected: “I had the best bike out there so no excuses, Michael just rode better than me. My bike was really strong but I couldn’t break Michael so eased the pace a little and that allowed Bruce to catch up but Michael did me on the last lap and there was no time to fight back.”
Anstey added: “I had a bit of a slow start to the race and still feel a bit rusty but I got my corner speed back as the race wore on and with the bikes being all of a similar speed, I used my corner speed to catch the front two up. I just needed an extra lap.”
1 Michael Dunlop (Yamaha) 17m37.949s
2 William Dunlop (Honda) + 0.340s
3 Bruce Anstey (Honda) +0.797s
4 Cameron Donald (Honda) +2.360s
5 Guy Martin (Suzuki) +4.027s
6 John McGuinness (Honda) +19.455s
7 Wayne Hamilton (Yamaha) +28.109s
8 Ryan Farquhar (Kawasaki) +28.299s
9 Ian Lougher (Kawasaki) +29.923s
10 Dan Kneen (Yamaha) +53.712s
Fastest lap Anstey (128.060mph)