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Practice for this year’s Isle of Man TT races finally got underway last night, with Michael Dunlop and the Bennetts Suzuki team immediately on the pace with the all-new GSX-R1000.

Dunlop’s best lap of 125.680mph was good enough for second on the Superbike time sheets – less than two seconds off the fastest time of the evening – and proved that the new machine is already competitive, despite being in its infancy on the roads.

The team had made a number of changes to the GSX-R1000 Superbike ahead of its TT debut, following an impressive fourth place finish at the North West 200 earlier this month, with Dunlop’s opening lap of the evening his first opportunity to try the bike in its latest spec, as development continues.

Michael Dunlop on Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle - before race start

Michael Dunlop, “It’s a good start. We’re the only team here with a brand new bike and we’ve started strongly. The boys made some changes after the North West, and we’ve got some work still to do on setup, but it’s good to finally get our TT underway. It was important to see the bike do laps around here for the first time, but they were two good laps and there’s still more to come.”

Team manager, Steve Hicken, “It’s been a very good start. Michael hadn’t ridden the bike in that spec before, so to go out and be competitive right away is already more than we could have asked for. To be honest, we could have expected to be a bit behind on the opening evening, having a new bike and not a lot of track time, but the bike did everything it should and this is only the start, so we’ll take that.”

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