Dunlop fired up and ready to hit road at Cookstown 100
Ballymoney's William Dunlop has confirmed his entry for this weekend's KDM Hire Cookstown 100 Road Races, where he will again have the use of the Mar-Train Racing Yamaha R1M for the Open and feature races after making his debut on the bike at last week's Tandragee 100.
Dunlop had planned to take in a Thundersport short circuit round in England this weekend, but with Tim and Sonya Martin's 1000cc Superstock specification Yamaha now seemingly added to his stable for the foreseeable future, alongside the IC/Caffrey Racing R6 Yamaha, the Co. Antrim man is well equipped to give last weekend's premier class winners Derek Sheils and Derek McGee a run on the Orritor circuit.
Elsewhere, Magherafelt's Paul Jordan, Man of the Meeting at last year's KDM Cookstown 100, will make his 1000cc debut at this year's event on Friday and Saturday, where he will again be up against his new friend and rival Guy Martin - who just happened to knock him off his bike at last week's Tandragee 100.
Having tested the EvolutionCamping.com BMW S1000RR yesterday at a cold and very windy Kirkistown circuit on the Ards' Peninsula, Jordan said: "I have to admit I was a bit nervous about riding the bike at Kirkistown as I expected this big shock after riding my six-hundred.
"But apart from the obvious power difference, I really enjoyed the 40 or so laps that I did, even though conditions were far from ideal."
Knocked off in the opening race last weekend at the Tandragee 100 by a charging and out of control Guy Martin, the Magherafelt butcher explained.
"Everyone said we had a tangle but he simply rode into me. I was raging at first but thought better of getting into a row with such a high profile rider," Jordan joked.
Thankfully neither rider was injured and, over a cup of tea with the television star, Jordan has seemingly found a new friend.
"He was very friendly and nothing like you see on TV," he said.
"He was also very apologetic and said that someone pushed him onto the grass and left him with nowhere to go, but the talk soon turned to the TT and he wanted to know how I was getting on with learning the circuit," added Jordan, who will make his debut at the TT in June.
"He started rhyming off sections of the TT circuit and asking me what came before it and what came next and he was impressed I knew the answers.
"He's also offered to help me if I need it, so out of last week's incident has come something good, so I can't ask for more than that from a top TT rider."
Looking ahead to this weekend's KDM Cookstown 100 and his 1000cc class debut, Jordan said pragmatically. "At least the test has left me with a bit of knowledge of the bike before first practice at Cookstown and I'm now looking forward to racing it. I'll undoubtedly be quicker on my 600, but it's all about learning how to ride the big bike so there are no expectations.
"I'm just delighted and thankful to Evolution Camping on the Isle of Man for backing me and I'm sure we will give the bike and their branding a good showing at my home race," he said.
Roads close on Friday, April 28, for Cookstown 100 practice sessions from 12pm. Road close on Race Day Saturday, April 29, from 10am.