Southern 100: Michael Dunlop sets Superbike pace as practice gets underway

Michael Dunlop on the BMW S1000RR during practice for the Southern 100
Michael Dunlop on the BMW S1000RR during practice for the Southern 100

Michael Dunlop topped the Superbike times as practice got underway for the Steam Packet Southern 100 meeting at Billown on Monday evening.

Dunlop, back in action for the first time since his searing four-timer at the Isle of Man TT, set a fastest lap of 112.355mph to take the top spot on his BMW S1000RR from Dean Harrison on the RC Express Kawasaki, who lapped at 111.689mph.

Reigning Solo champion and outright lap record holder Guy Martin was third quickest at 110.809mph followed by Dan Kneen on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki (109.005mph).

Harrison set the pace in the Supersport class on the Mar-Train Racing Yamaha at 107.298mph to lead the way from Martin (106.635mph) and Kneen (105.702mph) with Dunlop fourth on his MD Racing Honda at 105.477mph.

Conor Cummins, riding the Jackson Racing Honda, was next (105.241mph) with the top six completed by Ivan Lintin (104.921mph).

Lintin was fastest in the Supertwin class at 102.039mph from Lightweight TT winner Harrison (101.298mph) with James Cowton third (100.511mph) and Adrian Harrison fourth (97.402mph).

Tyco Suzuki’s William Dunlop has opted to skip the event as he is not yet at full fitness after breaking his leg in a crash in the Senior race at the Isle of Man TT.

Northern Ireland’s Jamie Hamilton is also a non-starter after suffering injuries including a broken pelvis, a cracked sternum and a dislocated shoulder in a crash at the Skerries 100 near Dublin on Saturday.

The final Southern 100 qualifying sessions and the opening races take place on Tuesday evening with roads closed from 6.05pm.