Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Joey and Robert Dunlop: kings of the road

Joey Dunlop motorbike ace at his home.
Joey Dunlop
Robert Dunlop on his way to an emotional victory in the 125cc class at the Ulster Grand Prix.

Joey and Robert Dunlop hold a special place in motorcycling folklore.

In 2005 Joey was voted the fifth greatest motorcycling icon ever by Motorcycle News.

He was probably the only motorcycle ace to almost drown on his way to the Isle |of Man TT. In 1985 he was aboard a small boat — the Tornamona — sailing from Strangford with several bikes and equipment when it sank after striking a rock. Divers later recovered the bikes

To mark his incredible TT achievements, the most successful overall rider at the Isle of Man races each year is awarded the Joey Dunlop Cup

Statues of Joey were erected in his home town of Ballymoney and also on the Isle of Man circuit

And he was commemorated in song by Northern Ireland band Therapy? The track Joey appeared on the album Shameless.

You can purchase pictures of the Dunlop brothers at our digital photosales site

Robert then began a record breaking run at the Cookstown 100, where his first win came in the 1985 250cc race. Riding an ECM, he averaged 88.57mph to take the chequered flag ahead of Gary Cowan (EMC) and Noel Hudson (Rotax). His most successful year was 1987 when he scooped the prestigious “Man of the Meeting”, winning 125cc, 350cc and 1000cc races. Four more 125cc victories followed in 1988, 1989, 1991 and 1993; a total of eight victories in the event.

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