Belfast Telegraph

Don’t forget about daring Dunlops; William and Michael aim for podium

ByRoy Harris

No North West 200 would be complete without a Dunlop securing a podium or even a win today. Both William and Michael have had a mixed pre-event with William splitting with long-time team owner Chris Dowd and now running his own team with main backers Ivan Curran and Caffrey International

William explained: “Things just weren’t going to plan and a new R1 Yamaha I was expecting did not materialize and I may be forced to ride my MSS Colchester Kawasaki Superstock machine in the Superbike races.

“I have a new R6 Yamaha, but I’ve not had the time to sort it out and although I finished fourth in Thursday’s opening Supersport race it was after having to replace an engine at the last minute. I will certainly be  looking for a podium today, as we begin the build-up to the TT.”

William has also qualified fifth fastest for today’s two Superstock races (one cancelled from Thursday) and like many others will probably use race one as a test before having a real go in the second outing.

William commented: “Unless I believe the Superstock bike is not as competitive as I feel it is then I may give the Superbike races as miss. The MSS Colchester Kawasaki has the top speed, but the handling may not be as good as a big bike.”

Michael on the other hand was in his usual form as he put the Hawk BMW into second position on the grid a mere 0.017sec behind the Burdens RAF Reserve BMW.

Michael said after qualifying, “Aye things went Okay. We have a few wee tweaks to make yet and I know if everything pans out I will be in contention for race wins. I don’t even think about any other rider on the grid I just do my own thing and see where it takes me.”

His pre-race build up has been at BSB and even though he comes into the event ‘road rusty’ qualifying has shown that the 27-year-old is well capable of adding to his four wins around the Triangle.

Never one to court the media Michael does all his talking on the track and despite naming the Senior TT as the one race in the year he wants to win more than any other he was typically forthright.

“That does not mean that every race I go out in I don’t want to win,” he added.

“Every time I pull the helmet on I want to win, but the Senior TT is the most prestigious, most financially rewarding and most satisfying race in the world to win.

“Every rider would say the same, but it takes special preparation and planning to win it and that’s why it is my number one goal.”

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