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Michael Dunlop Makes Isle of Man TT History … For Both Himself and BMW

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No, Michael Dunlop did not get a record-setting 5 wins this year, but he did set a record by becoming the first Isle of Man TT rider to take 4 wins in each of two consecutive years. His career total stands at 11 victories at the event.

His final win this year was his third aboard the BMW S 1000 RR, taking the prestigious Senior TT exactly 75 years after BMW last won this race in 1939. BMW made a big bet on Dunlop signing him to campaign their superbike at the Isle this year and they got the maximum payout for doing so. Dunlop’s 4th victory of the week was a supersport victory earlier in the week aboard his privateer Honda CBR600RR.

Here is the press release from BMW Motorrad received by MD this morning:

BMW Motorrad and Michael Dunlop’s third Isle of Man victory of 2014 in Senior TT race repeats history 75 years on.

BMW Motorrad and Michael Dunlop have repeated history, echoing Georg Meier’s legendary Senior TT victory of 1939 today on the Isle of Man. Dunlop’s third BMW-powered victory of the week came in the most prestigious race of all: the blue riband Senior TT race.

Dunlop’s performance today followed the same game plan as his Superbike and Superstock wins earlier in the TT fortnight, as he fought for a lead early on, however the first few laps were incredibly close with the top five riders being within a couple of seconds of one another.

Michael led on corrected time, but not on the roads, by the time he pulled in for his first pit stop. In second place was his brother William Dunlop on the Tyco Suzuki, just 7.7 seconds behind. However a rapid and smooth pit stop from the team’s crew got Michael and the BMW S 1000 RR back out and on the road, allowing him to push on.

On lap three, Dunlop set a new Senior TT lap record with a stunning 131.668 mph average around the Isle of Man course. During the second pit stop, Conor Cummins and his team closed the gap on Michael to just six seconds. The Ballymoney rider responded by upping his pace yet further, widening the lead by an extra two seconds within half a lap.

Hard-charging Conor Cummins piled on the pressure, with Guy Martin himself closing the gap on the second placed rider. Seeing his lead reduced on his pit boards, Dunlop dialled up the speed and denied his opponents the chance to close on him.

During the fifth lap Michael led on the roads and had extended his time lead to 8.5s, then to 9.8 by the start of the final lap. Despite this margin, Dunlop kept up the pace, stretching his lead yet further as the grandstand – and BMW Motorrad’s first Senior TT victory in 75 years – approached.

Michael crossed the line 14 seconds in front of Manxman Conor Cummins, with Guy Martin 9.7 seconds behind him in third place. Michael’s brother William Dunlop crashed during the race, and was airlifted to hospital with a suspected broken leg. William has already been discharged and is on his way home – the team wish him a swift recovery.

The 25-year-old Michael Dunlop has secured his own place in history by increasing his total to a stunning 11 TT wins, three of them coming this week onboard BMW S 1000 RR machines in the Superbike, Supertstock and now Senior TT races. Michael also became the first rider in history to win four TT races in two consecutive years.

BMW Motorrad UK entered into road racing in 2014 to celebrate Meier’s famous victory of 75 years ago, in which he rode his factory Type 255 Kompressor and took BMW Motorrad’s first ever TT win. Joining forces with Hawk Racing, the team behind the Buildbase BMW Motorrad British Superbike entry, and supported by BMW Motorrad Motorsport in Germany, BMW Motorrad / Hawk Racing was formed.

Beginning with the North West 200 in May, Dunlop and the team took victories in both the Superstock and Superbike classes as part of their build up to the Isle of Man TT. The BMW Motorrad / Hawk Racing team have now added a further three TT trophies to the tally, proving that the BMW S 1000 RR is a force to be reckoned with in road racing.

For more information and live timing, or to download the full race results from today, visit www.iomtt.com.

The highlights from today’s racing will be broadcast on ITV4 at 9pm and will be available online via www.itv.com/itvplayer.

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Michael Dunlop

“More important than anything today is that my brother William is okay after his crash. We have rivalry, and people like to push that story, but that man matters more to me than any racing.”

“The Senior TT race is the only one I’ve not won before at the Isle of Man and it’s very special to have won it today. I’ve given BMW Motorrad three wins here and we’ve repeated their victory in the Senior TT in 1939. “

“At the start of this fortnight people were saying I was mad to be here on an unproven bike. I think now nobody will doubt the BMW S 1000 RR. The whole package is fantastic and the team have been brilliant. For BMW Motorrad to have built a bike that can come here for the first time, to survive six race laps without missing a beat, and to win… that is amazing.”

Steve Hicken, Hawk Racing Team Manager

“It’s been an unbelievable week – we’ve won three TT races on our very first attempt. I think it’ll take a few days to really settle in! It’s wonderful for our team and I have to thank everyone who helped make it happen, especially the lads from the Hawk Racing team who came over here and worked tirelessly on the bikes. Michael Dunlop rode amazingly well – in fact I don’t think any other rider could have come here and done what he did on the BMW S 1000 RR.”

Lee Nicholls, Marketing Manager for BMW Motorrad UK

“First and foremost, the BMW Motorrad / Hawk Racing team wish William Dunlop a fast and complete recovery from his crash today.”

“All of us at BMW Motorrad are so pleased that Michael has won his first Senior TT race today, it’s a huge achievement for him and one he well deserves. But equally special for us is that he accomplished this feat riding a BMW S 1000 RR Superbike on the 75th anniversary of Georg Meier’s Senior TT win.”

“We have to say a huge thank-you to Michael Dunlop for his riding in all three races; to the Hawk Racing team who have done such an amazing job preparing, maintaining and developing the motorcycles, and to our colleagues at BMW Motorrad Motorsport for their support and input. We’re now looking forward to the Ulster Grand Prix in August.”

16 Comments

  1. Auphliam says:

    Not to change the subject, but has anyone seen how the EBR bikes did? I thought they said they entered 3 or 4 different races, but can’t find them in any of the results.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Poorly.

      Race 1 – both riders DNF
      Race 2 – both riders DNF
      Senior TT – Cretu 42nd out of 46, not sure about Miller: some say DNF, some say last.

      • Auphliam says:

        Damn, I was hoping they would do well. Get some much needed positive publicity for EBR. Oh well.

        Thanks for the update

        • Scotty the Guzzi man says:

          Its a very tough course Auph, and a bit of a bike killer. All those years Ducati dominated WSB they certainly did not do near as well at the TT.

          Thats also why its so speacial that Triumph won a race, and BMW. Its pretty much been a Big Four hegemony for a long time. There year I was there Yamaha and Honda dominated the big bike classes.

  2. kent_skinner says:

    The fact that he’s so dominant isn’t surprising to me; there’s always somebody who’s better than the rest. It’s the fact that he does it on so many different bikes, on a course so long you can’t memorize all the corners.

    What kind of differences are there in the BMW, the electric bike, and his Honda 600? How do you not mess up horribly every so often?

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “What kind of differences are there in the BMW, the electric bike, and his Honda 600?”

      are you maybe thinking of McGuinness?

  3. xlayn says:

    Someone for the sake of science should run a bike with every possible gadget just to get us a perspective of the forces to which the machines are exposed, probably the suspensions held tons of weight from the constant pushing down on brakes jumps….
    How much force brakes dimished to heat
    How much a chain extension
    How much lateral flex from chasis

    I wonder if the engine insides suffer any significant wear from just that one race.

  4. Norm G. says:

    re: “And only two deaths at the IOM this year, wow, a good year.”

    for a lil’ perspective, 227 aboard a GIANT aircraft (Boeing’s second largest) sit hidden from man’s devices at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

    re: “When are people going to realize modern races bikes don’t make sense (on) street circuits?”

    actually the people DO realize that. the difference is they (the Manx residents) aren’t part of “the people” so to speak. they’re a self governing Island Nation surrounded on all 4 sides by water. they can do what they want.

    put it this way, no weary traveller of the free world accidentally makes a wrong turn and finds themselves in Douglas. the chances of running into Vladimir Putin here…? ZERO %.

    • xlayn says:

      comparing to one of the safest transportation methods in world make debating your point really easy :P

  5. EZ Mark says:

    “in fact I don’t think any other rider could have come here and done what he did on the BMW S 1000 RR.”
    Yikes! Not giving the bike much credit there.

  6. Fastship says:

    Reflecting the increasing irrelevance of the Japanese manufacturers, this is the first year since 1961 they haven’t won a TT. European makers once again dominate.

    • RoadRunner says:

      Think you’ve overlooked a couple of Japanese-powered sidecar winners.

    • Scotty says:

      Once again? Prior to BMWs win this year with the hottest rider on the roads, when was a last time a European manafacturer won the Senior? Norton in 1991?

    • Dave says:

      Re: “Reflecting the increasing irrelevance of the Japanese manufacturers”

      “Michael crossed the line 14 seconds in front of Manxman Conor Cummins, with Guy Martin 9.7 seconds behind him in third place.”

      Those margins hardly signal “irrelevance”, nor do the Japanese manufacturer’s global sales dominance. How’s BMW been doing in WSBK? yeah…

  7. goose says:

    And only two deaths at the IOM this year, wow, a good year. How many years since Dunlop’s father and uncle died in “real road racing”. When are people going to realize modern races bikes don’t make sense street circuits?

    Goose

    • Blitz says:

      I just returned from the Isle of Man. My first time.

      What remains really buried is the number of spectators and marshalls killed during the event. The average number of spectators and marshalls killed in a TT event is 7 whereas the average number of riders who die is ~2.

      There was a non-fatal crash during the Superbike race on Sunday, and a marshall and two spectators were killed. No mention of that was made – we found out from locals at the pub during dinner. The locals are OK with higher fatality rates or they would stop the races. The $$ generated by the race is what keeps the Isle running. 45,000 people attend the event (isle population is 86,000), and when we left, ~20K motorcycles were ferried to the island to suport travel during the event.

      It’s a unique event. Wow. Riders make very little money. Most do it for the love of the event. Having seen it, i get it. They are starting to use spec-based ECUs to keep costs down and the little guys in it.

      How you ride that fast for that long is beyond my comprehension. One of the guys who died was 65 years of age. 65! Not competitive with the big names, but fast enough to qualify and ride. He didn’t HAVE to compete; he wanted to. That’s the beauty of the TT. People love it, and are willing to risk their life to do it. I don’t have a problem with it as well.

      The other thing which comes out is how incredible sport bikes are. The superstocks are lapping within 2% of the lap times of the superbikes. That blew me away.

      Whether “modern” bikes make sense on a street course makes sense is probably the same question asked for the last century. The racer fatality rate has been relatively constant over the years. One could make the argument whether any racing “makese sense.”

      To see the event is really the only way you can appreciate it (as a fan). To race it is the only way to appreciate it as a racer.