One-Hundred and Ten Years in the Making: Isle of Man TT and Michael Dunlop
This past weekend, veteran pro motorcycle racer Michael Dunlop clinched his 15th victory in the historic international motorcycle race, the Isle of Man TT.
The Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) Race has been held annually on the Isle of Man, an island between England and Ireland that acts as a self-governing British Dependency — meaning the island is not a part of the United Kingdom or British Overseas Territories.
Since 1907, the race has been held in time-trial format on public roads closed for racing and consists of one week of practice sessions followed by one week of racing. One hundred and ten years after the race’s conception and it’s still growing, garnering international attention and competitors.
The victor for the last fifteen years, Michael Dunlop, hails from Northern Ireland and comes from a professional motorcycle racing dynasty. Michael is the brother of William, son of the late Robert and nephew of former World Champion the late Joey Dunlop.
Michael’s claim to fame is his aggressive style, which led to his 16 minute Isle of Man TT victory in 2016, the first time in history that the course was completed in under 17 minutes.
Michael Dunlop’s 2017 Isle of Man TT Victory
Dunlop had an early advantage with an opening lap at an astonishing 132.29 miles per hour, giving him a 4.2 second lead over racer Peter Hickman. By the end of lap one Dunlap’s lead increased by a whopping 5 seconds as he closed out the second circuit at 132.9 miles per hour.
Hickman, who had been battling for the lead with Hutchinson when the initial race was halted, secured his fifth podium from five starts, having never previously finished in the top three prior to this week — an outstanding showing.
This victory sends 28-year old Dunlop into fourth place in the Isle of Man TT all-time solo winners’ list.
2017 Isle of Man Race Highlights
Some of the biggest news out of the Isle of Man TT occurred before the race even began. Honda Racing officially announced that Guy Martin would not be able to complete in this year’s Senior TT. Martin crashed out of the Superbike race at a speed of over 110 miles per hour at Doran’s Bend on lap one of the Fireblade SP2.
Other highlights from the week include racer Ian Hutchinson, 16-time Isle of Man TT winner and winner of both the Superbike and Superstock races, crashed during the race and suffered a broken femur. He will recover, according to his team’s boss.
James Hiller completed the top-six leaderboard. Manxman Conor Cummins ended eighth but his Padgett’s Honda teammate Bruce Anstey fell behind at Bedstead Corner on the second lap while contending for a spot on the podium.
Another notable performance came from Australian racer Josh Brooks, who ended his 2017 Isle of Man races campaign on a high note: taking sixth place in Friday’s Senior race. Brooks recorded two laps in excess of 130 miles per hour, with a new personal best lap of 130.883 which he says should “silence the doubters.” We’d certainly agree.