Southern 100: Mike Browne fends off Michael Dunlop to seal maiden victory in thrilling Supersport race

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Mike Brown held off Michael Dunlop to clinch his maiden victory at the Southern 100 in a pulsating opening Supersport A race on Thursday at Billown on the Isle of Man.

Pole man Browne took the lead on the opening lap and was 1.7s ahead of Dunlop across the line after the first lap, with Dominic Herbertson in third.

On lap two, Browne and Dunlop had opened a slight gap over Herbertson, with Dunlop beginning to close on the Cork man, cutting his advantage to 1.3s after setting the fastest lap at 107.528mph.

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Herbertson was now 4.2s back in third on the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Yamaha, with Rob Hodson up to fourth ahead of Paul Jordan, who was beginning to make up ground on the Jackson Racing Honda.

Mike Browne (BPE by Russell Racing Yamaha) won the opening Supersport race at the Southern 100 on Thursday from Michael Dunlop (MD Racing Yamaha). Picture: Dave Kneen/PacemakerMike Browne (BPE by Russell Racing Yamaha) won the opening Supersport race at the Southern 100 on Thursday from Michael Dunlop (MD Racing Yamaha). Picture: Dave Kneen/Pacemaker
Mike Browne (BPE by Russell Racing Yamaha) won the opening Supersport race at the Southern 100 on Thursday from Michael Dunlop (MD Racing Yamaha). Picture: Dave Kneen/Pacemaker

Browne’s advantage on the BPE by Russell Racing Yamaha after three laps was now down to 0.693s after Dunlop set another fastest lap at 108.681mph.

In the battle for third, Herbertson was only a tenth of a second ahead of Jordan, with Hodson next.

At Cross Four Ways, Dunlop (MD Racing Yamaha) was right on Browne’s rear wheel and there was only two tenths of a second between them as they flashed over the line.

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Jordan had overhauled Herbertson for third as they began the fifth lap, with Hodson, Joe Yeardsley and Michael Sweeney next.

Dunlop was applying the pressure on the penultimate lap but Browne was still in the lead at Cross Four Ways.

However, a fastest lap by Browne gave him a slender margin of 0.3s over Dunlop going onto the last lap, with Jordan 12.7s back in third.

There was no change in the order at Cross Four Ways with Browne still ahead and he managed to hold off Dunlop on the run to the finish, taking victory by 0.3s.

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Browne clocked the fastest lap of the race around the 4.25-mile course at 109.144mph with Dunlop managing 109.141mph.

Jordan filled the final place on the podium, 14.3s further in arrears after squeezing out Herbertson by only 0.051s on the blast to the line.

Hodson finished fifth with the top six completed by Yeardsley.

Sweeney took seventh on his Yamaha ahead of Jamie Williams.

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