Belfast Telegraph

Michael Dunlop: I'm dedicating my win to tragic TT rider Derek Brien

By Victoria O'Hara

The son of the late Robert Dunlop has led tributes to top Irish motorcyclist Derek Brien, who was killed during the Isle of Man TT races.

Michael Dunlop, also the nephew of racing legend Joey Dunlop who died in an accident in 2000, won his second Isle of Man TT triumph as he took victory in yesterday's Superstock race.

Speaking afterwards, he dedicated his win to Mr Brien, who was killed after he crashed on the second lap of the Supersport race yesterday.

"Derek's sponsor and my sponsor are best of friends," Mr Dunlop said. "It was a big loss. That one was for him, out of our team. Our hearts go out to everybody."

The 34-year-old, from Bellewstown, Co Meath, is the third fatality at this year's Isle of Man TT races. Following his death the sportsman was hailed as a "talented and well-liked racer" who had a bright career.

Mr Brien often competed at road races in Northern Ireland where he was well-known and had a solid fan base.

Also offering tributes was North West 200 technical director Mervyn Whyte who said he was a talented rider who will be missed.

"He was an established rider, he was a good rider and a good competitor at the NW 200. And it was sad to see he lost his life at the TT."

Mr Whyte added that Mr Brien's death highlighted the dangerous nature of road racing.

"Unfortunately it is a dangerous sport and all you can do is work and work to improve safety all the time."

Mr Brien was a former Manx Grand Prix winner. His friend John Murray said Mr Brien had been a top performer on the track.

"He was well known and well liked. He was a very quiet lad," Mr Murray said. "He had been racing this last six or seven years, and he had been doing very well."

Mr Brien also suffered injuries at the Isle of Man race in 2009 when he had to be airlifted for treatment after his bike crashed.

Mr Brien's death is the third to blight this year's event after sidecar competitor Bill Currie (67) and his passenger Kevin Morgan (59) died in a crash in qualifying last Tuesday.

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