MCN’s top five road races: 2nd

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Michael Dunlop gives BMW their first international road race win at the North West 200

North West 200 Superbike race two

Finishing order: Michael Dunlop, Josh Brookes, Alastair Seeley

For many people a runner up spot in their first outing on a new bike would be a pretty good result but for the bullish Michael Dunlop second place is nowhere. The 25 year old was furious to have been beaten by his elder brother, William, on the Tyco Suzuki in the opening Superbike race at the North West 200 in spite of never having ridden the Hawk/Motorrad S1000RR BMW on the roads before first practice at the seaside event.

Dunlop had jumped ship to the German factory after terminating his winning coalition with Honda during the winter and he was a man on a mission on the unproven BMW. He channelled his anger of that opening defeat into a fierce resolve. Dunlop was declared the winner of the Superstock race when the red flags came out after three laps when Simon Andrews suffered his fatal crash. But it was his performance in the feature Superbike race, run on damp but drying roads, that brought the very best out in the Ballymoney racer.

Dunlop got a poor start but battled his way through the pack on the BMW to catch early leaders Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) and Alastair Seeley (Mar-Train Kawasaki). After breaking the lap record twice he grabbed the lead on the fourth lap of five and opened a winning gap when Brookes ran wide on to the grass at Mather’s chicane.

Brookes eventually finished second, beating Seeley by 1.6 seconds after setting a new outright lap record of 122.958mph on the final lap of the race in what was only the Aussie BSB star’s third road race meeting.

Stephen Davison

By Stephen Davison

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