Race organizers sadly canceled both the 2020 and 2021 Isle of Man TT due to the ongoing pandemic. The Tourist Trophy races weren’t the only casualties of the U.K. road racing season, however. Calendar stalwarts such as the North West 200 and Ulster GP will also aim to return in 2022. With less events on the calendar, the Armoy Road Races were more important than ever, especially for legendary road racer Michael Dunlop.
Located near the Northern Ireland town of Armoy, the 4.8-kilometer County Antrim circuit is just a stone’s throw away from Dunlop’s hometown of Ballymoney. His familiarity with the course certainly benefitted the rider, with 17 wins to his name prior to the 2021 event. By the end of the July 30-31, 2021, race weekend, Dunlop would leave with another five race wins under his belt.
In addition to the high volume of victories, the road racer took the top step in 100 percent of the races he started. Dunlop’s dominance began with a win in the Lightweight Supertwins class, beating the field with a Honda 250 race bike. Switching over to a Yamaha for the Supersport category, Dunlop again emerged victorious. A second Supersport win followed on Saturday, July 31, 2021, with Northern Irish rider crossing the finish line just .028 seconds ahead of Derek McGee.
The competition was less stiff in the Open A class, as Dunlop crushed his rivals aboard a BMW superbike, clearing his opponents by a 7.64-second margin. Despite starting from the second row of the grid for the premier event, the Race of Legends, the legendary road racer charged to the front and finished with a 9.365-second cushion. The victory marked Dunlop’s ninth Race of the Legends win and accounted for his 22nd overall in Armoy Road Races.
With events such as Manx Grand Prix, Cookstown 100, and Scarborough Gold Cup still on the calendar, there are lots of U.K. road races left in the 2021 season. We may not have the Isle of Man TT this year, but that won’t stop road racers like Michael Dunlop from doing what they love.