William Dunlop has sights fixed on victorious return to the road
Despite the absence of 11-time TT winner Michael Dunlop, Tyco Suzuki rider William Dunlop will be back on the grid this weekend at Skerries in County Dublin – astonishingly just four weeks after breaking his leg in two places in a high-speed crash during the Senior TT in the Isle of Man.
Dunlop all but destroyed his Tyco Suzuki Superbike in the high-speed spill at the fourth gear Graham Memorial section of the TT circuit, which in normal circumstances would be taken at around 120mph.
Thankfully the Ballymoney man only suffered two clean breaks to the fibula in his lower left leg in the incident, and with the aid of physiotherapy and trips to a Londonderry osteopath, William intends to be back in the saddle at Skerries, as he explained.
"The leg's not too bad at the minute," William said in his usual nonchalant manner.
"I've to go and see Micky Kerr this week before we head to Skerries, so after he has given it a proper seeing to, it should be sorted," he added, speaking of the north coast osteopath who also looks after the Laverty brothers and World Superbike champion Tom Sykes.
Kerr treated Sykes for a debilitating hand injury just last month, after the factory Kawasaki rider had being taken out by his team-mate Loris Baz during the opening WSB race in Malaysia. But the diminutive Derry man's magic touch was enough for Sykes to take a double victory just two weeks later at Misano, extending his championship lead.
Dunlop is hoping for something similar in the coming weeks, as he tackles Skerries, the Southern 100 and Walderstown; followed by his local race at Armoy before the Ulster Grand Prix on August 16.
"The fibula is not a weight bearing bone, so I'm hoping we won't have too much bother with it, but we'll go to Skerries and have a run round and see how we feel," William explained.
His Tyco Suzuki team are currently working flat out preparing a Superbike for William in their Moneymore workshop, but team manager Philip Neill explained that it will be Supersport only this weekend for William.
"The Superbike, which we are still building, we will use at the Southern 100, but for this weekend I feel the 600 is sufficient for William to get back in the groove," said Neill, who estimated the repair costs to the Ballymoney man's Superbike at close to £25,000.
Dunlop was at Tuesday's Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix launch on the SS Nomadic in Belfast.
The UGP is an event and circuit that he thoroughly enjoys, and a place where he believes he can again sample some Superbike success, which he last enjoyed at the North West 200 back in May.
"Yeah I definitely think we have the package to challenge and take the win at the Ulster Grand Prix," he explained.
"It's a circuit I've won on before, it's suits my riding style and Philip and Hector have had plenty of success there in the past with Guy (Martin) and other riders on their Suzuki bikes."
Speaking of Guy Martin, the Lincolnshire man tackled the famous Pike's Peak event in Colorado on Sunday past, taking his turbo-charged 350hp Martek GSX-R1100 to the exhibition class victory.
His time of 11 minutes 32.6 seconds was enough for 21st place overall – but the victory went the way of American TT star Jeremy Toye on a ZX10R Kawasaki.