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Jun 2, 2013

Michael Dunlop Fastest In Superbike Practice Saturday At The Isle Of Man TT

Isle of Man TT: Michael Dunlop (6) on his Honda CBR1000RR.
Dunlop tops the Isle of Man TT Superbike timesheets

Following a week of unsettled weather and the cancellation of the first three Isle of Man TT Superbike practices, the final sessions took place yesterday with Honda TT Legends' new signing Michael Dunlop recording his fastest ever time around the famous TT course. The Northern Irish racer posted a 130.89mph lap to take the top spot on the qualifying timesheet.

Team-mate and 19-time TT winner John McGuinness was second quickest with a lap of 130.10mph, while Michael Rutter placed sixth with 128.63mph. The three riders will contest this afternoon’s Dainese Superbike race aboard the Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR Fireblade, and all three will be looking to add to their respective tally of TT wins.

Honda machinery occupied five of the top six spots on the Superbike timesheets, with Gary Johnson (Lincs Lifting Ltd) third and Bruce Anstey (HM Plant Honda by Padgetts Motorcycles) fourth. The Superbike race will begin at 2.15pm this afternoon.

John McGuinness
I know the Superbike inside out and the prospects for the race are pretty good. I haven’t had any proper, clear laps so there’s definitely more to come from me and whilst everyone’s talking about the race being me against Michael, we’ll see a lot more from a few of the other riders, notably Cameron and Guy. At the end of the day, all I can do is what I normally do, drop the clutch, hit all my apexes and go as fast as I can.

Michael Dunlop
We've made a lot of progress over the past couple of days and I did my fastest TT lap so we're getting quicker. I feel like I could have done better on that lap - I hit a bird and that made a bit of a mess – but we’ve made some good headway and I’m ready to race.

Michael Rutter
We put in a half decent lap and I’m feeling good for the race. I wasn’t as quick as Michael and John, but as we all know anything can happen in the race so we just need to get out there and see what we can do.

More, from another press release issued by Honda TT Legends:

Honda and John McGuinness pay tribute to Joey Dunlop

To mark the 30th anniversary of Joey’s Dunlop first Isle of Man TT win with Honda, his former team-mate and Honda TT Legends rider John McGuinness will contest today’s Superbike race in tribute Dunlop livery.

The iconic red and black Joey Dunlop/Honda Britain design adorning the Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR Fireblade and McGuinness’s leathers is based on that worn by Dunlop in his final Isle of Man TT in 2000. It was kept under wraps until the very last moment, when 19-times Isle of Man TT winner McGuinness emerged from his team’s pit tent alongside his racing machine.

The tribute is part of a weekend-long celebration by Honda that will pay homage to the ‘King of the Road’. The manufacturer last night hosted a gala dinner with special guest appearances by Dunlop’s former team-mates Ron Haslam, Roger Marshall, Roger Burnett, Carl Fogarty, Phillip McCallen, Michael Rutter and John McGuinness as well as his wife Linda Dunlop and nephews Michael and William Dunlop.

“There are a few reasons why we’ve decided to celebrate the life and times of Joey Dunlop this weekend,” explains Honda (UK) Racing Manager Neil Tuxworth. “First of all he is Honda’s longest standing factory rider – he rode for us longer than any other rider in any championship in Honda’s history – and on top of that he won five world championships and 26 TT races, 24 of which were on Honda machinery. It was in 1983 that Joey secured his first TT win with Honda so 2013 marks the 30th anniversary and it seemed the perfect time to honour him and his career achievements.”

“It’s an honour to be asked to take part in the tribute to Joey,” says John McGuinness. “He was and still is the most famous road racer of all time and although it’s 30 years since his first Honda win he’ll never be forgotten. Seeing the tribute design for the first time brought back all the memories of being Joey’s team-mate, when he wore the red and black livery and I was in pink and purple! It’s an iconic design and he just looked so cool so it’s going to be pretty special getting to wear it in his memory. I can’t wait to see all the faces of the fans and hopefully we can bring home a result for Joey.”
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