Our DUNLOP DAZZLES WITH

PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 4/6/2016:  Michael Dunlop  (Hawk Racing) celebrates his win on the podium of the Superbike TT race on the Isle of Man today.'PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 4/6/2016: Michael Dunlop (Hawk Racing) celebrates his win on the podium of the Superbike TT race on the Isle of Man today.'PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

Michael Dunlop isn’t ruling out the astounding prospect of a 135mph lap in Friday’s top-of-the-bill PokerStars Senior TT after blitzing the absolute lap and race records to win Saturday’s RST Superbikes.

The Ulster rider made history in the fastest TT race ever as he broke the 133mph barrier for the first time from a standing start on his Hawk Racing BMW to seal his 12th win around the Mountain Course, which puts him ahead of Steve Hislop and fellow Northern Ireland rider Phillip McCallen in the hall of fame.

Dunlop obliterated John McGuinness’s 2015 benchmark (132.701mph) on lap one to set a new absolute course record of 133.369mph, drawing gasps from the Grandstand on Glencrutchery Road.

It was also the first time a TT competitor had completed a lap in less than 17 minutes, with Dunlop’s time coming in at 16m 58.439s.

The sense of anticipation was palpable as the 27-year-old-old blazed down Bray Hill for his second lap and Dunlop rose to the occasion once more.

He smashed the 133mph barrier for a second time, breaking his minutes-old record to set a new benchmark of 133.393mph, which equates to a time of 16m 58.254s for the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.

The astonishing speeds threaten the Ulster Grand Prix’s proud status as the world’s fastest road race, with a 134mph lap surely on the cards in Friday’s Senior.

In reality, the race was over following his double 133mph salvo, which gave him a lead of 7.5 seconds over Tyco BMW’s Ian Hutchinson as they slowed for the first round of pit stops at the end of lap two.

The remainder of the field was floundering, with Honda Racing’s John McGuinness over half-a-minute behind in third. Dunlop simply had to bring his S1000RR home safely to guarantee his fourth win in the premier class and his dominance was illustrated visibly on the road, with the Ballymoney man – who set off at number six – catching McGuinness, who started at No.1, and Bingley Bullet Hutchinson (No.4) as the trio circulated together on lap four.

Dunlop could afford to ease off slightly but he still finished the race with a new record for the six-lap, 226.38-mile distance of 1h 44m 14.259s – an average speed of 130.306mph - with his winless TT last year all but a distant memory.

Hutchinson – who also dipped inside McGuinness’s previous record with a lap of 132.892mph from a standing start – was 19 seconds back in second place, with McGuinness completing the rostrum, a further 54 seconds in arrears.

England’s Peter Hickman clocked his first 132mph lap to take fourth on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki ahead of Dean Harrison (Kawasaki). Michael Rutter completed the top six on the Bathams SMT BMW.

The race was also notable for Australian rider David Johnson’s performance on the Norton SG5, who finished an excellent seventh and set the fastest TT lap ever on the British-built machine at 130.872mph.

Bruce Anstey, riding the exotic Valvoline Padgetts Honda RC213V-S MotoGP replica, finished eighth.