Michael and William Dunlop gave the thousands of Ulster fans lined around the North West 200 circuit plenty to cheer as the duo won Saturday’s prestigious Superbike races on the north coast.
New BMW rider Michael was crowned man of the meeting and received the Robert Dunlop trophy and a cheque for £2,500 after he triumphed in the blue riband Superbike race.
The 25-year-old also took victory in the shortened Superstock event, which was red-flagged after a crash involving Simon Andrews at Metropole corner.
He finished as runner-up in the opening Superbike race after a thrilling final lap battle with his older brother and took second in the Supertwin race.
Speaking after his maiden NW200 Superbike win, the seven-time Isle of Man TT winner said: “The fans were absolutely fantastic. I rode the bike as hard as I could and I only sat on it for the first time on Tuesday. Fair play to the guys who built the engine, the bike was fantastic.”
Dunlop came through after a poor start to win on the BMW Motorrad S1000RR from Australia’s Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha), who had the consolation of a new lap record at 122.975mph, which he set on the last lap.
Brookes was three seconds behind Dunlop, with Alastair Seeley claiming third on the Mar-Train Racing Kawasaki.
Bathams BMW rider Michael Rutter was next followed by Guy Martin on the Tyco Suzuki and Honda rider Conor Cummins.
In a gripping Superbike opener, held in wet conditions, William Dunlop led for much of the race until he was caught by Michael in the closing stages.
Michael took the lead in Portrush on the final lap, but William wasn’t finished and stuck a move on his younger brother at Juniper to wrap up his first win in the class at the North West by half a second.
Manx rider Cummins finished third from Rutter, Ian Hutchinson and Simon Andrews.
“I’m rated as a 600 rider so it was good to get that,” Dunlop said. “It felt like such a long race out there and the tyres were beginning to go off, so I’m glad it wasn’t seven laps or they wouldn’t have lasted.”
Michael’s first win of the day came in the Superstock race as he took the win from Rutter and Gary Johnson. The result was declared based on positions after three laps when the race was stopped following Andrews’ crash at Metropole on the fourth lap.
Kiwi Bruce Anstey won the Supersport race to secure his tenth North West victory after Seeley and Lee Johnston tangled on the final lap at Metropole.
Cummins came home as the runner-up from Gary Johnson on the Smiths Triumph.
Fermanagh rider Johnston bounced back from the incident in the Supersport race to win the Supertwin event, completing a double following his victory in the class on Thursday.
Michael Dunlop finished second on the McAdoo Kawasaki and James Cowton secured third after also finishing on the podium on Thursday.
Don’t miss Monday’s News Letter for a complete review of all the action from the 2014 Vauxhall International North West 200.