TT 2017: Michael Dunlop ups tempo with blistering 131mph lap

Michael Dunlop lapped at 131mph from a standing start during Superbike qualifying on Saturday at the Isle of Man TT.

Michael Dunlop lapped at 131mph from a standing start during Superbike qualifying on Saturday at the Isle of Man TT.

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Michael Dunlop produced a scorching lap to roar to the top of the Superbike qualifying times on Saturday at the Isle of Man TT.

The outright lap record holder lapped at 131.062mph from a standing start on the Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000 to surge clear. Dunlop, who became the first rider in history to clock a sub 17-minute lap last year, completed his lap in 17m 16.361s.

The 28-year-old did four laps in total and had been on course for another 131mph lap on his fourth lap when the session was red-flagged following Lee Johnston’s crash at Greeba Castle.

A flurry of 130mph laps were completed for the first time during this week’s interrupted qualifying sessions, with Peter Hickman slotting into second place on the Smiths BMW after lapping at 130.629mph.

Tyco BMW’s Ian Hutchinson posted his quickest lap of the week on the S1000RR at 130.327mph, with Manx rider Dan Kneen impressing as he set his fastest ever lap of the Mountain Course on the Penz13.com BMW at 130.324mph.

Michael Rutter was fifth quickest on the Bathams SMT BMW at 130.036mph ahead of Friday’s Superbike pacesetter Bruce Anstey, who lapped at 129.913mph on his third lap on the Padgett’s Honda RC213V-S.

Bradford man Dean Harrison was seventh on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki (129.187mph) ahead of Lee Johnston on the East Coast BMW Superstock machine (128.896mph).

Derek Sheils upped his pace to 126.709mph on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki to leave the Dubliner 16th fastest, while William Dunlop managed a lap of 125.775mph on the Temple Golf Club Yamaha R1.

David Johnson was the fastest of the Norton riders at 126.938mph in 15th place, while Honda Racing’s Guy Martin remains a long way off the pace on the CBR1000RR SP2, lapping at 123.316mph.