Isle of Man TT winner Michael Dunlop shattered the Southern 100 lap record on his way to a stunning victory in the opening race of this year’s meeting of the ‘friendly races’.
Riding his own 1000cc Honda, Dunlop set a new standard of 2 minutes 15.892 seconds on lap four of the eight-lap opening race of the 2012 Southern 100 on Tuesday evening.
That’s an average speed of 112.589mph around the 4.25-mile Billown circuit in the south of the Isle of Man.
Dunlop’s staggering speed gave him a 3 second victory over Tyco Suzuki’s Guy Martin, with Suzuki teammate Conor Cummins finishing 3rd by just 0.3 of a second after a tight battle with KMR Kawasaki-mounted Ryan Farquhar.
It was a good opening race for Southern 100 newcomers Jamie Hamilton and Dean Harrison, two of the stars of the 2012 TT, as they finished 6th and 7th.
Top 600cc machine home in the race was the Kawasaki of another TT star, Ivan Lintin, who finished 11th overall.
The six-lap sidecar race also produced some gripping racing, as Billown newcomer Tim Reeves, partnered by multiple TT winner Dan Sayle, lived up to his practice pace to win on his debut, more than 7 seconds ahead of rivals Ian and Carl Bell.
They was a tight battle for third, with newcomers Ben and Tom Birchall just securing the final podium place by less than 0.7 of a seconds from Conrad Harrison and Dipash Chauhun.
Earlier in the evening, Martin had topped the 1000cc practice times with a best lap of 2:19.198, an average speed of 109.915mph, while Dunlop led the way in the 600cc practice, with a best lap of 105.844mph.
Farquhar once again dominated the 650cc times, recording an impressive average speed of 101.015mph, with his KMR teammate Hamilton also breaking the 100mph barrier with a 100.904mph lap
Action on the Billown course continues today.