Southern 100: Dean Harrison and Michael Dunlop set for Billown battle

Dean Harrison won three races over the three race days of the Southern 100 meeting
Dean Harrison won three races over the three race days of the Southern 100 meeting last year

Defending Solo Champion Dean Harrison and Michael Dunlop head the entry for the Southern 100 road races at the 4.25-mile Billown course on 9-12 July.

Both riders secured hat-tricks at last year's meeting, with Harrison also winning both 600cc races and Dunlop clinching three 'big bike' victories.

Dunlop holds the lap record for the circuit at 115.707mph, with Harrison's race record standing at 113.877.

A prize fund of £38,000 is on offer, the Solo Champion collecting £3,400.

Eighteen-time TT winner Dunlop will be on board his Tyco BMW Superbike and his own MD Racing Honda Supersport machine.

The 29-year-old from Ballymoney aims to add to his three previous Solo Championship successes in 2011, 2012 and 2016.

Harrison will ride for the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki team, with whom he enjoyed a successful TT last month, including a win in Supersport race 2.

Among their chief opposition will be McAdoo Racing Kawasaki pair James Cowton and Adam McLean, plus English quartet Jamie Coward, Ivan Lintin, Joey Thompson and Sam West.

Notable newcomers for the Castletown races include TT Privateer Champion Davey Todd, who rides for the Cookstown BE Engineering Team, Waterford's Brian McCormack, Michael Sweeney from Skerries and Phil Crowe.

Manx competitor Ryan Kneen will ride with the number 14 plate in memory of his brother Dan, who was killed in practice for the Isle of Man TT on 30 May.

The sidecar entry is headed by defending champions John Holden and Lee Cain, along with three-time winner Tim Reeves, who has Mark Wilkes in the chair this time round.

Conrad Harrison and Andy Winkle and Wayne Lockey and Kenny Cole should also contend for the three-wheel honours.

Practice takes place on Monday and Tuesday evenings, with racing on Tuesday night, Wednesday night and Thursday morning and afternoon.