Southern 100: Guy Martin retains Solo Championship crown at Billown

Guy Martin retained the Solo Championship title on the Tyco Suzuki at the Southern 100

Guy Martin retained the Solo Championship title on the Tyco Suzuki at the Southern 100

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Guy Martin rose to the occasion as the Tyco Suzuki rider halted Dean Harrison’s victory streak at the Steam Packet Southern 100 to win the blue riband Solo Championship race.

The pair went head-to-head in a red-hot feature showdown at the 4.25-mile Billown circuit and Martin had the luck of the draw when slower riders came into play two laps from the end, establishing a slight gap over the RC Express Kawasaki rider.

Martin managed to hold his advantage until the line, taking his third victory in the Solo Championship race by 0.6 seconds over Harrison and his second successive success in the event after he beat Michael Dunlop in 2013.

Manxman Dan Kneen, who ran on at Ballakeighan on lap two, fought his way back to take a terrific third place on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki.

There was disappointment for Michael Dunlop, who was forced to retire from the race on the BMW Motorrad S1000RR at the end of lap seven.

Harrison had the consolation of a new outright lap record at 114.601mph, which he set on lap three of nine.

The 25-year-old has been in sensational form at the Southern 100, winning five times as he took a double on the RC Express Kawasaki ZX-10R in the Corlett’s Trophies 1000cc/600cc and Ellan Vannin Fuels Senior races and a brace of wins in the Supersport class on the Mar-Train Racing Yamaha R6.

Harrison also won the second Supertwin race, gaining the verdict of the judges after crossing the line to win by 0.01 seconds from James Cowton, who had been declared the winner initially when they powered across the line together.