Dunlop surges to victory in Southern 100 feature to cap a fantastic week

PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 14/7/2016: Michael Dunlop (Hawk BMW) celebrates his victory  in the feature Championship race at the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man today.
It was the Ballymoney man's third Championship victory.
PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 14/7/2016: Michael Dunlop (Hawk BMW) celebrates his victory in the feature Championship race at the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man today. It was the Ballymoney man's third Championship victory. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

Michael Dunlop took his third career Manx Gas Solo Championship victory at the Southern 100 on Thursday, making it four Superbike wins without reply at this year’s event.

Dunlop dominated the Superbike events and won the feature Solo Championship race for the third time on the Billown circuit in Castletown.

The 27-year-old had 6.5 seconds to spare over runner-up Dean Harrison by the finish, with Ivan Lintin coming in third.

Dunlop was previously crowned Solo Champion in 2011 and 2012 and picked up the first prize of £3,400 after leading the nine-lap race from start to finish.

“That was the race I came to win, that’s the one I wanted,” said the delighted Ballymoney rider after his win in the main event.

“That was a fantastic week for us - four wins from four races. We aren’t getting short circuit time ahead of the Ulster Grand Prix like some of the other boys, but we’ve got some really good time on the big bike here.”

Dunlop starred in the Superbike events throughout the week, taking three further victories on his Hawk BMW.

Bradford rider Harrison was a double Supersport 600cc winner, with Ivan Lintin sealing two Supertwins triumphs.

Later in the day, Dunlop secured victory in the rescheduled Open race to make it a convincing four-timer for the week.

RC Express Kawasaki pilot Lintin followed up his 650cc win on Wednesday by taking the chequered flag from James Cowton and Rob Hodson yesterday.

In the morning Supersport outing, Harrison won by 5.5 seconds from Jamie Coward, with Cowton third and Lintin fourth.

Seamus Elliott saw off the challenge of fellow Ballymoney rider Darryl Tweed in the 400cc class.

A thrilling Sidecar Championship race saw three outfits break through the 100mph lap barrier for the first time in the history of the event on the sixth lap.

Tim Reeves and Patrick Farrance repeated their success of last Wednesday night.

With the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix on his mind, the 13-time Isle of Man TT winner, who is in prolific form this season on the Superbike, with a North West 200 win, a double at the TT, National wins and now a four-timer at the Southern 100 on the Hawk BMW.

He said: “It’s been nice to get a run on the big bike before the Ulster. We’ve had some trouble with the 600 up to now but the plan is to work hard with it before the Ulster to get it right.”

The Manx Gas Sidecar Championship race was won by Tim Reeves/Patrick Farrance on the DMR Klaffi Honda, with history being made ­­- the 100mph barrier broken by the top three outfits for the first time at Billown.

The Birchall brothers, Tom and Ben, took second place, just over a second down on Reeves and Farrance with John Holden and Andy Winkle third, two seconds further back. Reeves posted the fastest of the 100mph with an effort of 100.749mph (2min: 31.862sec).