Post-TT Races: William Dunlop in Superbike and Supersport double at Billown

William Dunlop on the IC Racing/Caffrey Yamaha R1 at Gorse Lea during the Isle of Man TT.
William Dunlop on the IC Racing/Caffrey Yamaha R1 at Gorse Lea during the Isle of Man TT.

William Dunlop made up for the disappointment of a frustrating Isle of Man TT as he powered to a Supersport and Superbike double at Billown on Saturday.

The 30-year-old struggled throughout the festival after sustaining a troublesome back injury during a crash in practice for the TT at Sarah’s Cottage.

Dunlop finished seventh in the opening Monster Energy Supersport race on the IC Racing/Caffrey Yamaha and battled to eighth place on the MSS Kawasaki in the RL360 Quantum Superstock event.

However, he opted to skip the second Supersport race to rest up ahead of the prestigious PokerStars Senior TT on Friday, but retired from the race on his Yamaha R1 in the pits at the end of the second lap.

The Ulster rider also failed to finish the RST Superbike race at the beginning of race week, retiring at Union Mills while holding eighth place on the third lap.

He did manage to claim a podium in the SES TT Zero race last Wednesday, finishing as the runner-up for Victory Motorcycles behind race winner Bruce Anstey on the Japanese Mugen machine.

Dunlop, who only rode his new R1 Superbike for the first time during practice at the TT, decided to compete in the Radcliffe’s Butchers Post-TT meeting at Billown and set a new outright lap record for the event on his way to a dominant win in the Manx Independent Carriers 1100cc race.

He lapped at 110.591mph and is now looking forward to returning to the Billown course next month for the Southern 100.

Dunlop, who beat Ryan Kneen by 28 seconds with Rob Hodson completing the podium places, said: “It was pretty faultless and I was pushing but there’s a bit more in it yet, so it’s really good.”

Looking ahead to the Southern 100, he told Manx Radio: “It’s a lot easier when you have boys to chase after but the bike is certainly capable of it [114mph lap], but it’s good to do that sort of lap time in the condition I’m in.

“The bike has to go back now to get sorted and it’ll be even better again, so I’m really happy with that and I’m chuffed to bits.”

Earlier in the evening, Dunlop was a start-to-finish winner in the Cu Plas Callow 600cc race over eight laps of the 4.25-mile course.

He finished 1.8 seconds in front of Jamie Coward, reclaiming the title he previously won in 2013.

“I’m not too bad, it’s just more demanding around the TT course and if you’re not 100 per-cent fit, then you’re wasting your time,” said Dunlop of his injuries.

“It’s alright around here and the wee bike never missed a beat and it’s just a great wee bike.”

Robert Wilson finished third to round out the rostrum for his maiden podium at Billown.

James Cowton won the 250/650cc race from Jamie Coward and Hodson.

victory went to who fended off the challenge of Jamie Coward to take the spoils for the second year in succession.

He crossed the line with 3.7 seconds in hand over Coward, with Hodson taking third position.

Dunlop is expected to be among the entries at Kells in Co Meath this weekend as the Irish National road racing season commences again in the wake of the North West 200 and TT.

The event heralds the beginning of a busy period for Irish road racing, with Skerries on July 2, Walderstown (July 10), Faugheen (July 24) and Armoy (July 30) before the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix, which takes place from August 10-13.