Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 July 2015

North West 200: William Dunlop is confident after his bike is revamped

By Paul Lindsay

Published 16/05/2013 | 04:20

14/5/13 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. William Dunlop on his Milwaukee Yamaha bike during today's supersport practice session at the Vauxhall NW200. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
14/5/13 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. William Dunlop on his Milwaukee Yamaha bike during today's supersport practice session at the Vauxhall NW200. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 15/5/2013: William and Michael Dunlop with Darren Clarke during a visit to Royal Portrush Golf Club. The brothers were taking a break from their North West 200 duties to have an impromptu golf lesson with the former British Open winner as part of a BBC Sport event. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 15/5/2013: William and Michael Dunlop with Darren Clarke during a visit to Royal Portrush Golf Club. The brothers were taking a break from their North West 200 duties to have an impromptu golf lesson with the former British Open winner as part of a BBC Sport event. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 14/5/2013: Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes judges the Miss North West 200 competition held in the paddock last night. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 15/5/2013: Guy Martin at the North West 200. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 14/5/2013: Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes judges the Miss North West 200 competition held in the paddock last night. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 14/5/2013: Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes judges the Miss North West 200 competition held in the paddock last night. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th May 2011. Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.com Relentless International North West 200. Practice day 2. Technical Director Mervyn Whyte.
?Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 14th March 2013 - Mandatory Credit - Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.com The Vauxhall International 2013 North West 200 road races. Miss North West 200 Bronagh Letters pictured on the North Coast with Portrush in the background.
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Josh Brookes(right) on the grid before the start of the Supersport practice.
Northern Ireland- 17th May 2012 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Relentless International 2012 North West 200. Alastair Seeley pictured on the grid.
PACEMAKER, BELFAST,12/3/2013: Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes chats with Event Director Mervyn Whyte at Black Hill during a sighting lap of the North West 200 course. Brookes will make his debut at the event in May. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER, BELFAST,12/3/2013: Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes on the North West 200 course. Brookes will make his debut at the event in May. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 28/2/2013: Vauxhall KMR Kawasaki new recruit Brian McCormack pictured at the North West 200 course this week. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Guy Martin(left) and Bruce Anstey on the grid before the start of the Supersport practice.
?Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 14th March 2013 - Mandatory Credit - Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.com The Vauxhall International 2013 North West 200 road races. Supersport Practice. Jamie Hamilton.
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 14/5/2013: Last year's Supertwins race winner Ryan Farquhar had a new role at today's opening practice session for the Vauxhall North West 200 as he worked on the race bikes of Michael Rutter and Jeremy McWilliams, who are riding for his Vauxhall KMR Kawasaki squad. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Guy Martin on the grid.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye North West 200 Practice - Tuesday Alastair Seeley MSS Kawasaki during Superstock Practice for the Vauxhall International 2013 North West 200
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Bruce Anstey(left) and John McGuinness on the grid.
14/5/13 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Michael Dunlop on his Honda Legends bike during today's superbike practice session at the Vauxhall NW200. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
14/5/13 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Stuart Easton on his Mar-Train Yamaha bike during today's superbike practice session at the Vauxhall NW200. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/PressEye Motor Cycle Road Racing Event: North West 200 Race: Supersport Tuesday Practice Date: 14th May 2013 Caption: Stuart Easton
14/5/13 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. William Dunlop on his Milwaukee Yamaha bike during today's superbike practice session at the Vauxhall NW200. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Conor Cummins on the grid before the start of the Supersport practice.
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Jamie Hamilton on the grid.
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Ryan Fraquhar(left) and Michael Rutter on the grid.
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. John McGuinness on the grid.
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Michael Rutter(left) and Ryan Fraquhar on the grid.
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Ryan Fraquhar on the grid.
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Guy Martin on the grid before the start of the Supersport practice.
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. James Hillier on the grid.
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Michael Rutter on the grid.
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Guy Martin on the grid.
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Josh Brookes(right) on the grid before the start of the Supersport practice.
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 14/5/2013: BSB star Josh Brookes with his special newcomer leathers made for his Vauxhall North West 200 debut today. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
14/5/13 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Guy Martin on his Tyco Suzuki bike during today's superbike practice session at the Vauxhall NW200. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
14.05.2013 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Bruce Ansty on his Padgetts bike during today's supersport practice session at the Vauxhall NW200. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/PressEye Motor Cycle Road Racing Event: North West 200 Race: Supersport Tuesday Practice Date: 14th May 2013 Caption: Guy Martin
?Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 14th March 2013 - Mandatory Credit - Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.com The Vauxhall International 2013 North West 200 road races. Supersport Practice. Alastair Seeley.
Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/PressEye Motor Cycle Road Racing Event: North West 200 Race: Supersport Tuesday Practice Date: 14th May 2013 Caption: Simon Andrews
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Guy Martin on the grid.
Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/PressEye Motor Cycle Road Racing Event: North West 200 Race: Supersport Tuesday Practice Date: 14th May 2013 Caption: Ian Lougher
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Bruce Anstey(left) and John McGuinness on the grid.
14/5/13 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Josh Brookes on his Tyco Suzuki bike during today's superstock practice session at the Vauxhall NW200. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Josh Brookes(right) on the grid before the start of the Supersport practice.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye North West 200 Practice - Tuesday Guy martin (4) Tyco Suzuki by TAS Racing followed by Ian Lougher (Honda) during Supersport Practice for the Vauxhall International 2013 North West 200
?Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 14th March 2013 - Mandatory Credit - Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.com The Vauxhall International 2013 North West 200 road races. Superbike Practice. John McGuinness.
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day.
?Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 14th March 2013 - Mandatory Credit - Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.com The Vauxhall International 2013 North West 200 road races. Superbike Practice. Bruce Anstey.
Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Vauxhall International North West 200 - First practice day. Ryan Fraquhar on the grid.
?Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 14th March 2013 - Mandatory Credit - Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.com The Vauxhall International 2013 North West 200 road races. Supersport Practice. James Hillier.
?Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 14th March 2013 - Mandatory Credit - Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.com The Vauxhall International 2013 North West 200 road races. Supersport Practice. Guy Martin.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye North West 200 Practice - Tuesday Michael Dunlop (Honda) during Supersport Practice for the Vauxhall International 2013 North West 200
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye North West 200 Practice - Tuesday Australian BSB star Josh Brookes Tyco Suzuki during Novice Practice for the Vauxhall International 2013 North West 200
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 14th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Brian Little/ Presseye North West 200 Practice - Tuesday BSB star Karl 'Bomber' Harris PR Racing Kawasaki during Novice Practice for the Vauxhall International 2013 North West 200
Mini Moto Racing at Portrush in Co-Antrim at the weekend as the North West 200 motorbike racing week gets underway. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Mini Moto Racing at Portrush in Co-Antrim at the weekend as the North West 200 motorbike racing week gets underway. Picture Margaret McLaughlin 2013
Mini Moto Racing at Portrush in Co-Antrim at the weekend as the North West 200 motorbike racing week gets underway. Picture Margaret McLaughlin 2013
Mini Moto Racing at Portrush in Co-Antrim at the weekend as the North West 200 motorbike racing week gets underway. Picture Margaret McLaughlin 2013
Mini Moto Racing at Portrush in Co-Antrim at the weekend as the North West 200 motorbike racing week gets underway. Picture Margaret McLaughlin ? by-line 11-5-13
Mini Moto Racing at Portrush in Co-Antrim at the weekend as the North West 200 motorbike racing week gets underway. Picture Margaret McLaughlin ? by-line 11-5-13

William Dunlop has never been a rider to 'blow his own trumpet', preferring to let his on track performances reflect his preparation and ability.

But with a successful opening qualifying sessions on the north coast on Tuesday, and more expected from the factory supported Milwaukee Yamaha pilot in today's early sessions, the 27-year-old Ballymoney man, is more than capable of adding to his Vauxhall International North West 200 win tally in this evening's Supersport encounter.

"I really only got to ride the Milwaukee Yamaha R6 in Tuesday's session for the very first time," William explained.

"Cookstown just didn't work out for us as you know, but with Marcus and Phil now here looking after the bike, I feel very confident that we can improve in second qualifying and be up there in the Supersport race on Thursday night.

"It was just a matter of getting a few safe miles in on the bike and qualifying it, but we will be looking to advance that in Thursday's session."

Marcus and Phil, whom he refers to, are Eugene Laverty's factory Aprilia World Superbike crew chief Marcus Eschenbacher and Moneyglass man Phil Marron.

Both men slipped virtually un-noticed into the North West paddock on Monday morning after a successful double podium weekend with Eugene and Aprilia Racing in Italy at Monza.

Eschenbacher guided both Cal Crutchlow and Chaz Davies to World Supersport titles on very similar Yamaha R6 machinery to the Milwaukee liveried 600, and Marron, as well as being Laverty's brother in-law, has looked after the World Superbike contender, spinning the spanners on his machinery for a number of years.

Add to that the experience within the Milwaukee Yamaha squad, with Shaun Muir at the helm and British Superbike winning crew chief Pete Jennings looking after William on the R1 Superbike and Superstock machines, then this weekend's North West 200 could well see a new premier class winner.

"I absolutely love that Superbike. It's awesome," was William's reply when quizzed about his new factory machine that he couldn't keep his eyes off following Tuesday's session.

Recounting the high-speed experience, which saw him run alongside, and compliment, British Superbike star Josh Brookes, he added: "I know I can be competitive on the Milwaukee Superbike.

"I really like the chassis and it is ridiculously fast. So much so I haven't even held it flat yet and we finished top five on Tuesday.

"We need some more dry track time and I don't mind the length of the sessions here, so it's all good so far."

On Brookes coming onto his home turf, he was respectful.

"Yeah it's good to see Josh Brookes here and I can tell he's here for the right reasons, to win races and not just for the money.

"He will fit in well in the international road racing paddock, and while others might not like to see him coming, I think it's good for the sport."

William was guarded and not committal about the Superstock class, which without putting him into a legal wrangle, understands that some of the machinery is maybe fettled a little beyond the spirit of the class. But regardless, it's another run out and he's well capable of a top six.

With the preparations all but complete, things moved from riding to driving yesterday afternoon.

William and his sibling rival, Michael, no strangers to locking horns at high speed, enjoyed a slightly slower slice of sporting life when treated to a golf lesson with a man who is no stranger to the North West – Darren Clarke (pictured).

The former Open winner passed on a few tips to the pair and they will hope his success rubs off on them when the action gets underway for real.

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