Belfast Telegraph

William Dunlop: why I support my local road race

By Jim Gracey

Fresh from his Supersport and 250 race successes at the weekend Skerries 100 races, William Dunlop has confirmed his Milwaukee Yamaha as a definite starter for his local Armoy Road Races later this month.

William shipped in on a trip to Rathlin Island with his cousins Paul Robinson and Sam Dunlop and Armoy Clerk of the Course Bill Kennedy before setting sail for the Isle of Man and this week's Southern 100 races.

Delighted Kennedy said: "William has been a great supporter of the Armoy Road Races having competed just about every year. The trip to Rathlin was a great opportunity for me to catch up with William and it was great to see him in fine form.

"No bikes are allowed on Rathlin so we had to get special permission but travelling across on the Rathlin Ferry was a great way to be able to see another part of our beautiful country – the picture speaks for itself."

William will be racing in the SGS International Open Race and the RiverRidge Recycling Race of the Legends at Armoy, and added: "I'm delighted to back at Armoy this year. It's my local road racing course so it holds that something special for me plus it's a great circuit.

"The club works extremely hard on every aspect of the race, particularly in the preparations, and that attention to detail makes the few days at Armoy pretty good to say the very least.

"The fact they've managed to televise it is also good, sponsors like it. It goes a long way in attracting road racers and their sponsors to an event."

Cousins Paul Robinson and Sam Dunlop will also be competing at Armoy with Bike Week running from July 21-27 Race Day.

125cc road racer Paul Robinson said: "I missed the first Armoy event in 2009 but I've raced at each one since. Being local just adds that bit of extra pressure for me but that's all my own doing. They are an excellent wee club who do more for riders than most national road races and the prize money is a little better too."

Sam Dunlop, who will also be competing in the 125cc race, said: "Having started studying law and accounting at university this year, road racing has taken a bit of back seat.

"However I won't be missing Armoy, that's for sure.I've a lot of time for the Armoy club; they've managed to establish a great wee race in no time at all."

Bill Kennedy concluded: "The Armoy Races are shaping up to be a really good event – and I am confident that we are going to see some exceptional road racing again this year."

* OPENING practice for the Steam-Packet Southern 100 road races on the Isle of Man was abandoned last night following a serious incident during the Supersport qualifying session.

The incident occurred on the fast approach to Ballakeighan, but no details were released.

Earlier Michael Dunlop, reunited with his TT Honda Legends Superbike that took him to his first TT superbike win a month ago, was fastest in the opening superbike session.

Dunlop won five races from five starts at last year's Southern 100 and smashed the outright lap record for the 4.25mile Billown Circuit.

In the Supersport session that was completed before the abandonment William Dunlop was fastest on his CD Racing Milwaukee Yamaha the he raced to success at Skerries on Saturday.

Practice continues this evening from 6.15pm with the first race for 1000 and 600cc machines scheduled for 8.05pm, when Michael will be looking for his first win of the 2013 meeting.

Belfast Telegraph

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