Belfast Telegraph

Michael Dunlop in race against time after setbacks

 

By Roy Harris

Michael Dunlop's Classic TT woes continued last night on the Isle of Man when on lap one he only got as far as Quarter Bridge on the 250cc Yamaha before retiring, and then, on the big bike, his opening lap was thwarted by a mechanical fault.

Prior to practice Dunlop said: "I don't know what we are going to do. I have only got a couple of miles both nights on the big bike and I need another lap on the 250cc to qualify it. The boys are working hard to try and sort things out."

Dunlop now finds himself on the back foot with just tonight and tomorrow to qualify the Team Classic Suzuki (two laps required) and today to get a lap on the 250cc Turner Yamaha before tomorrow afternoon's race.

Bruce Anstey was again the man in form last night, topping the Classic Superbikes with his fastest lap of the week at 125.486mph.

Darryl Tweed continues to impress in the Manx Newcomers 'A' Class with a lap at 115.092mph to top the division.

William Dunlop was third fastest in the Senior Classic at 105.935mph, behind fastest Jamie Coward (108.669mph) and Josh Brookes at 107.781mph, while in the Junior Classic it was Michael Rutter fastest at 102.063mph on the Ripley Land Honda.

For the second night running the final practice session was stopped over 20 minutes early due to poor visibility on the mountain.

Competitors and officials will be hoping for a full practice session this evening from 6.20pm.

Four Irish riders are among 22 young hopefuls who have been picked for the 2018 British Talent Cup following a rigorous selection process at Silverstone.

Ninety riders were invited to try-out in front of judges with MotoGP connections - Ulsterman Jeremy McWilliams, Alberto Puig and Shuei Nakamoto (HRC Japan) - and these were eventually whittled down to 22, including 14-year-old Jonathan Campbell from Lisburn, 15-year-old Rhys Irwin from Kilmacrenan in Donegal, 15-year-old Sam Laffins from Dromara and 14-year-old Scott Swann - the son of former Irish champion Michael Swann - from Magheramorne.

McWilliams said: "It's the start of an incredible journey for the 22 riders who have been selected, a journey that takes them on the road to becoming professional motorcycle racers.

"Racing so far has been fun, but they now step into a bigger arena and a potential route through to the top echelons of motorcycle racing."

The British Talent Cup races will run at the 2018 British Grand Prix and World Superbike round plus various BSB meetings throughout the season.

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