William Dunlop tragically lost his life in a crash during the Skerries 100, just weeks after withdrawing from last year’s TT. Michael then walked away from racing, only making his comeback last month at the North West 200.
Dunlop sustained a wrist injury in a crash during a test in Northern Ireland prior to the NW200, and says it has been a hindrance at the TT. However, despite struggling for much of the week, he snatched his 19thÂ TT victory in a thrilling two-lap Lightweight race on Thursday.
âI can’t use my past as a challenge point, but I’ve struggled,â Dunlop admitted when asked how difficult the events of the past year have been on him. âWe got back into this week, it’s been a tough week, [I’ve had the] injury. I’ve found it hard to come back racing to be honest, I’ve struggled with it.
âI didn’t think it would happen [winning], I thought we’d struggle again today [in the LTW race].â
Dunlop’s LTW win was the 50thÂ for the famous road racing family name, although he has been highly self-critical of his performances at this yearâs TT so far.
âIt’s been a bit tough this week, trying to carry the name and I haven’t been doing it justice this week which is a sad affair,â he added. âWe’re always pretty good around here, it’s nice to put something back up there for the name. My results this week haven’t shown a patch. In my opinion, you maybe lose the size of your balls but you don’t lose the size of your talent.
âI’ve lost something this week, but slowly but surely we’ve been getting it back again. I think the lack of practice hasn’t helped me dramatically. There’s nothing we can do about that, but slowly but surely we’re coming back.â
Dunlop admits he is finding it hard to âput a couple of laps togetherâ on the Tyco BMW Superbike due to his wrist, but is ready to attack Fridayâs Senior TT finale.
âWe’ll have a push and see [what happens in the Senior],â stated Dunlop, who was sixth in the opening SBK race on Monday. âI’m just struggling to put a couple of laps together on the big bike, I’m a wee bit tender.Â
âBut we’ll push and definitely have a go tomorrow. We’re getting a wee bit faster now.â
Michael Dunlop, 650 Paton/Paton SC-Project Reparto Corse
Photo by: Dave Kneen