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William Dunlop in the words of his own Road Racing Ireland column

William Dunlop described the highs and lows of road racing over a 14 year period in his column for Road Racing Ireland.

Here are a selection of his words between 2004 and 2018:

On his father Robert’s death: “My dad was a great man and as he said to me last year, ‘I would do it all again. I know I’ll be sore but it’s worth it’. The only thing I regret, and he was right again, it’s only human nature to take people for granted but I never told him how much I loved him. That’s my only regret. I love you daddy.”

On his first trip to race abroad at Frohberg in Germany: “It took us 14 hours, twice the estimated journey length! I think we nearly went to Denmark and when you’re lying in the back of the van it feels even longer, but at least we didn’t have to listen to Michael the whole way there — he was in the front. We landed about 3.00am so we had nowhere to stay because everywhere was shut. I couldn’t lie in the van any longer so I found this open lorry container and three of us shared two sleeping bags. It was a tight squeeze and it was cold but at least we could get some sleep.”

After winning his first road race at Athea: “I passed Darran Lindsay into the road end but he drafted by me before the village. I was able to repass him into the left hander. As we were going up the hill towards the finishing line, I was just waiting for him to go by again but he didn’t and I won my first road race by half a bike length.”

After the death of Darran Lindsay in 2006: “Darran was one of the great characters of the paddock, he had time for everyone and I enjoyed racing with him as I had a lot of respect for him as he always rode hard.”

On winning the 250 race at the 2009 North West 200: “I saw Christian Elkin and Michael had crashed out at Juniper chicane on the last lap. Michael was waving to get it red flagged, but I kept going to take the win. I suppose it was meant to be me this time, the big man upstairs finally took pity on me.”

Winning the North West 200 Superbike race in 2014: “I held onto Michael until the last passing spot where I went up the inside of him at Juniper chicane without any contact. It was a clean pass and I just held on. It was a weird feeling, I couldn’t believe I had won, as the team came jumping in to celebrate it still didn’t register and the crowd’s reaction was unreal. A great moment for me and the Tyco Suzuki team especially as the head of Suzuki Japan was there. It just couldn’t have been any better as it’s been 20 years since a Dunlop won a Superbike race there. It was also special for me as I have now won 125, 250, 600 and Superbike races at the North West, no-one has ever achieved that before.”

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