Michael Dunlop racks up five Legendary wins in Armoy
BROTHERS Michael and William Dunlop stole the show in the Armoy Race of Legends on Saturday, with Michael taking his fifth Legends win when he rode his MD Racing BMW to a convincing victory in the feature race ahead of hot rival Guy Martin and Bradford's Dean Harrison.
Starting from the second row in the SGS International race, Michael took the lead from Martin on lap four and never looked back as he gradually edged further and further into a comfortable lead. Dean Harrison on the MAR-Train Yamaha edged out Michael’s brother William for third place on the penultimate lap.
William, however, had things his own way in the Supersport 600 race, where he set a new class lap record at 104.290mph on the CD Racing Yamaha to give himself a three-second winning margin over Martin and Harrison, who had a fierce battle in a race that had to be restarted three times after two minor incidents.
In the Open race earlier in the day, Martin, on the Tyco BMW, was a start-to-finish winner, with two seconds to spare over team-mate William Dunlop, who got bogged down in a battle with Dubliner Derek Sheils on the Bikebits Kawasaki. This let Martin get away at the front, making William's chase for the number one place a nonstarter. Michael Dunlop finished in fourth place, with Harrison fifth and Ryan Farquhar sixth.
As has been the case in the past, Dungannon rider Farquhar took the Supertwins 650 race win, with Mullingar's Derek McGee second and Englishman Conor Behan third.
Sam Wilson on the Joey’s Bars backed 250 Honda was the start-to-finish winner in the 250cc class, getting the better of Michael Dunlop, who was teaming up with Dungannon’s John Burrows, as he rode the BE 250 Honda to second place just in front of third placed rider Paul Robinson.
Saturday's races, however, were overshadowed by a serious incident during the Lightweight 400cc race. Armoy rider Ian Simpson crashed out heavily at the church bends section of the circuit, resulting in him sustaining serious head injuries in the crash. An Irish Coastgaurd Helicopter was summoned to take Simpson to Belfast City Airport, from where he was transported to the Royal Victoria Hospital. Simpson has since been moved from intensive care and his condition has been described as "stable".
The Dunlop brothers, along with Guy Martin and Dean Harrison, will now be concentrating their efforts on next month's Ulster Grand Prix races at Dundrod, where it is expected Michael Dunlop and Martin will, again, be the two main contenders for Superbike success.