Michael Dunlop wins at Tandragee 100

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Michael Dunlop continued his blisteringly successful start to the Irish road racing season with a double Superbike race triumph at Saturday's Tandragee 100 in Co Armagh.

The Ballymoney man had been testing his Honda TT Legends Fireblade that he will race at the Vauxhall International North West 200 and the Isle of Man TT race during the week at Castle Coombe and had initially intended to sit out the Tandragee.

But as practice began on Friday night Michael and his brother William arrived at the circuit for last minute scrutineering! The three time TT winner brought only one bike, his Michael Dunlop Racing Honda and worried about the stones that had damaged machines in 2012, Michael raced it with last year's fairings.

The 24 year old lead the Open race from start to finish on Saturday morning to win by 26 seconds from Michael Pearson (Hotties Road Racing BMW) and Shaun Anderson (CN Management Suzuki) with a fastest lap of 106.930mph which was almost two and a half miles an hour outside his 2011 lap record of 109.297mph.

Although he had a similarly unchallenged win in the final feature race of the day Michael upped the pace to 108.992mph with Derek Sheils on the CD Racing Kawasaki trailing him home by another 26 seconds and Michael Pearson taking the final podium place.

The Supersport event was the race of the day with only the timekeepers able to separate the first three of Wayne Kirwan (Crossan Yamaha), Michael Pearson (Hotties Racing Suzuki) and Derek McGee (Yamaha), who all crossed the line side by side at the end of six laps. It was Kirwan who got the verdict- by 0.003 of a second from Pearson and McGee.

Jamie Hamilton continued the Vauxhall KMR Kawasaki squad's domination of the Supertwins race with team boss Ryan Farquhar taking on a new role of leading the Newcomers around on Friday evening.

Paul Robinson (Aprilia) won the 125cc race to make it two in a row after his Cookstown victory and William Dunlop (Honda) took the honours in the 250cc race.

Michael Dunlop's double sets him up well for next week's North West 200, with practice beginning on May 14.

Michael was ecstatic about his final TT Legends shakedown with Honda after he set a lap time 1.5seconds faster than his teammates John McGuinness and Michael Rutter.

'The bike is really, really good.' he said on Saturday. 'It has loads of grunt, especially low down and it just feels right.'

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Stephen Davison

By Stephen Davison

Biographer of John McGuinness & road racing's foremost writer & photographer