ARMOY: William and Michael Dunlop claim victory apiece at home race
Ballymoney's William and Michael Dunlop have made a winning start to the SGS International Armoy Road Races, taking a victory apiece at their home meeting on Saturday..
In the Supersport class, William followed up his triumph in Friday’s opening race to complete a double on the IC Racing Yamaha.
The 30-year-old, who qualified in third place, hit the front on the third lap after early leader Derek McGee from Mullingar slipped back to third after running wide at the hairpin in Armoy village.
Dunlop had opened a gap of 0.9 seconds at the end of the lap, with McGee working his way back into second place ahead of Derek Sheils on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Honda.
Home favourite Dunlop continued to increase his advantage over the final laps and won by 7.4 seconds at the finish from Dubliner Sheils, who inherited the runner-up spot after McGee crashed out unhurt on his Yamaha on the last lap of the race. Michael Sweeney from Skerries completed the top three podium places.
Michael Dunlop, who missed out on a win in Friday’s Supersport race by only 0.007 seconds following a thrilling race against his brother, retired in the pits following the warm-up lap.
However, the 27-year-old made amends with a dominant triumph in the Open Superbike race on his MD Racing BMW.
Dunlop quickly overhauled Sheils on the first lap and began to make a break for it at the front, establishing a lead of 1.2 seconds after three laps.
As Sheils tried to slash the deficit, William Dunlop was on the move on his MMB Yamaha R1, passing Dan Kneen (Mar-Train Yamaha) and setting off in pursuit of the southern Irishman.
With Michael holding a cushion of 1.1 seconds on the final lap, all eyes were on the battle for the runner-up spot, but it was Sheils who narrowly held off Dunlop by a tenth of a second at the line to secure second place.
Manx rider Kneen finished fourth, 12.7 seconds behind Dunlop, with McGee and Sweeney completing the top six.
Earlier, Christian Elkin won the Moto3/125GP race on Bob Wylie’s Honda from Sam Dunlop on the Joey’s Bar Honda, with Magherafelt man Paul Jordan clinching third. Gary Dunlop, making his Armoy debut, was eighth on William Dunlop’s 125cc Honda.
The feature 'Race of Legends' takes place later in the afternoon, when Michael Dunlop is gunning for an unprecedented sixth successive victory.