Michael Dunlop has made a promising start to the 2017 Isle of Man TT, completing his first laps on his new Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Dunlop, who currently holds the outright lap record for the Isle of Man Mountain Course at 133.962mph – lapped at 125.680mph from a standing start on his very first lap on the new GSX-R1000. Dunlop was second fastest overall, behind fierce rival Ian Hutchinson, who clocked 125.839mph on his Tyco BMW as practice got underway on Tuesday evening.
Speaking to the Belfast Newsletter, Dunlop said: “It’s a good start. We’re the only team here with a brand new bike and we’ve started strongly.
“The boys made some changes after the North West, and we’ve got some work still to do on set-up, but it’s good to finally get our TT underway. It was important to see the bike do laps around here for the first time, but they were two good laps and there’s still more to come.”
The 28-year-old Ulster road racing supremo was riding the Suzuki (in its latest spec) for the first time on Tuesday, and after making a few tweaks in the pit, went out and managed 125mph on his second lap.
Team manager Steve Hicken, also speaking to the Belfast Newsletter, said the 13-time TT winner’s performance was ‘more than we could have asked for. It’s been a very good start. Michael hadn’t ridden the bike in that spec before, so to go out and be competitive right away is already more than we could have asked for tonight.”
Practice is set to resume tonight from 18.20 – and Dunlop will be surely hoping to squeeze a little bit more out of his GSX-R1000 as he continues to get to grips with the new machine.