Brilliant William enjoys double success
William Dunlop had a stunning Walderstown Road Races double in Westmeath yesterday thanks to victories in the Superbike and Supersport races — with a lap record for good measure.
Cookstown BE Racing’s Dan Kneen, from the Isle of Man, took his fifth grand final victory of the season at the meeting, while Dunlop, aboard his Tyco Suzuki machinery, had wins in the Superbike and Supersport races.
Dunlop also set a new class lap record in the Supersport encounter on his way to victory over Mullingar’s Derek McGhee with Kneen third.
Despite losing out on the grand final win, which would have completed yet another hat-trick, Dunlop was pleased with his day’s work.
“Walderstown is my favourite national road race of the year, and the two wins and a lap record justifies sitting out the Southern 100 last week,” he said.
“I felt really comfortable on the 600 and Derek McGhee pushed me hard. I think the lap record was broken four times.
“I don’t want to make any excuses as Dan rode a good race, but I made a few mistakes at the start and once a gap had formed I settled for second place.
“We did take the opening Superbike win from the second row of the grid and although my ankle is a bit stiff now, I think this is the sort of workout it needed.
“That’s wins at Skerries and Walderstown which sets me up well for Armoy in a couple of weeks and then the Ulster Grand Prix.”
Team Manager Philip Neill added: “It’s been a pretty good few days for Tyco Suzuki on the roads with Guy (Martin) winning the Solo Championship at the Southern 100 and William adding to his Skerries win with another two at Walderstown.
“Having to break lap records to win races shows that he’s certainly back on the pace at the sharp end and the Tyco Suzuki GSX-R machinery is up to the task.
“We now have a few busy weeks with British championship and road racing back-to-back, but it’s nice to be talking about podiums, lap records and wins again as it motivates everyone — from riders to team personnel and of course our sponsors.”
The World Superbike Championship went Stateside at Laguna Seca in California with mixed fortunes for Ulstermen Jonathan Rea and Eugene Laverty in race one.
Former 250cc Grand Prix World champion Marco Melandri took the opening race win on the factory Aprilia, just ahead of his team-mate Sylvain Guintoli and current world champion Tom Sykes in third.
Rea took sixth place behind Ducati’s Davide Guigliano and the Red Devil Aprilia of Toni Elias, but Laverty’s season-long gremlins continued with a mechanical problem forcing his retirement in race one on the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki.
Race two at the Californian circuit was twice red flagged — once for Laverty’s team-mate and current British Superbike champion Alex Lowes, then for BMW’s Sylvain Barrier.
The re-started race was scheduled to take place over a shortened seven laps.
After 25 thrilling laps, Marco Melandri has won the opening race.
Starting from pole was Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) who initially headed into turn one ahead of the Aprilia Racing Team duo of Melandri and Guintoli who both passed the reigning champion at the end of lap one after Sykes made a mistake at the Corkscrew.
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) crashed spectacularly from fourth on lap two as the leading three began to edge away before Melandri triumphed.