TT 2018: Set-up changes thwart Dunlop's Senior charge

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Michael Dunlop’s disappointing performance in Friday’s Senior TT has been put down to a change in set-up not working for the Tyco BMW rider.

Despite storming to victory in Saturday’s Superbike race after Dean Harrison’s retirement, Dunlop had struggled to match the pace of Harrison in the early stages but a 132mph lap and a number of strong sectors in a Senior TT qualifying lap on Wednesday boosted hope for the Tyco BMW team.

It’s understood the Tyco BMW team tried the same new rear tyre flown to the island mid-week by Dunlop that Peter Hickman benefitted from in the Senior TT, but for whatever reason the set-up changes they made to their machine weren’t able to translate into race winning pace with Dunlop bringing the S1000RR home in a disappointing fourth place.

“Unfortunately, the changes we made did not compliment the package enough to allow Michael to challenge for the victory,” revealed team boss Philip Neill. Quite simply he clearly had a few problems during the race. Michael had also been feeling unwell in the latter part of race week, and if we factor that in; and not being able to give him that comfortable feeling on the bike – we were happy to see Michael do the best job possible under the circumstances. Congratulations on a fantastic achievement to Peter Hickman and the Smiths’ Racing team on the win.”

Surprisingly, Dunlop was unable to beat his quickest lap time from the 2016 TT across the two weeks while Dean Harrison and Peter Hickman smashed into the 134mph and 135mph brackets. Dunlop is now the third quickest rider of all time with his former 133.962mph outright lap record. 

Pick up this week’s MCN for a comprehensive, 36 page Isle of Man TT review! 

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing