William Dunlop killed in Skerries 100 practice crash.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Swami, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Champian

    Message Count:
    4,534
    Trophy Points:
    3,136
    Location:
    Ballymoney, Co Antrim
    Ratings:
    +4,144
    Member Since:
    April 2006
    William Dunlop killed in crash at Skerries 100 road races






    [​IMG]
    William Dunlop was a winner at the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix road races
    Northern Ireland motorcycle racer William Dunlop has been killed in an incident at the Skerries 100 road races in County Dublin on Saturday.

    Dunlop, 32, was taking part in practice for the event when the crash happened.

    The Ballymoney man was a member of the renowned Dunlop family and was a winner at the North West 200 and Ulster GP.


    William's father Robert died as a result of an accident at the North West 200 in 2008, while his uncle Joey was killed in a crash in Estonia in 2000.

    Joey holds the record for the most Isle of Man TT wins with 26, while William's brother Michael has registered 18 wins at the event over the Mountain Course.

    [​IMG]
    William Dunlop in action at the Skerries 100 on his Yamaha R1
    William has also competed regularly on the Isle of Man but sat out this year's races after coming home during practice week to be with his pregnant partner Janine.

    Dunlop indicated after the event that there had been concerns about a 20-week scan but that the situation had improved and the couple were looking forward to the arrival of their second child.

    A statement released by the Loughshinny Club, the organisers of the Skerries 100, said that they "deeply regretted that William Dunlop has passed away following injuries received in a tragic accident that occurred during practice which took place today, 7 July 2018".

    "The Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club extends their heartfelt sympathy to William Dunlop's family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time," the statement continued.

    It is understood that William was taking part in an Open race practice session on his Temple Golf Club-backed R1 Yamaha when he crashed at the Sam's Tunnel section of the circuit on the third lap around 17:00 BST.

    Red flags were immediately displayed to halt the session and medics and Gardai attended the scene.

    Distinguished road racing career
    Dunlop began racing in 2000 and accumulated 108 Irish National Road Race wins during a distinguished career, including 15 at the Skerries circuit which ultimately claimed his life.

    The elder of Robert Dunlop's sons rode for many of the leading road racing teams, including Hector and Philip Neill's Tyco-backed TAS Racing team, Shaun Muir's Milwaukee Yamaha outfit, Wilson Craig Racing and most recently Tim Martin's Temple Golf Club Yamaha team.

    He achieved four wins at the North West 200, including successes in the 125cc and 250cc races in 2009, a Supersport triumph in 2012 and a Superbike victory in 2014.

    William won seven races at the Ulster Grand Prix in Dundrod, three in the Supersport class, two on 125cc machines and two in the 250cc class.

    His best result at the TT was a second place in TT Zero in 2016, while he also finished third on four separate occasions.

    Swami
     
  2. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Champian

    Message Count:
    4,534
    Trophy Points:
    3,136
    Location:
    Ballymoney, Co Antrim
    Ratings:
    +4,144
    Member Since:
    April 2006
    William Dunlop: Motorcycle racing community pay tributes






    [​IMG]
    William Dunlop in practice action at the Skerries 100 on Saturday
    Northern Ireland motorcycle racers and race officials have been paying tribute to William Dunlop who was killed in a crash at the Skerries 100 on Saturday.

    Dunlop died during a Superbike practice session at the County Dublin course.

    "I'm absolutely gutted. We all feel the hurt for the family. It's another sad day for road racing," said Dungannon-based road race champion Ryan Farquhar.


    "It's devastating news. William was an absolute gentleman," added North West 200 Race Director Mervyn Whyte.

    "He was a regular competitor at the North West and I couldn't believe it when I heard the news - my heart just broke," added Whyte.

    "William was a quiet, unassuming lad and a brilliant road racer. I never had any issue with him and he would have helped you and supported you in any way he could to improve the sport."

    Farquhar added: "We started racing at much the same time and came through the ranks together and had a few battles over the years.

    "We all know road racing is dangerous and when it goes wrong our thoughts are very much with the family, friends and sponsors who are left behind."

    [​IMG]
    William Dunlop (left) and his younger brother Michael pictured with a statue erected in Ballymoney in memory of their father Robert
    'As much natural ability as anyone'
    British Superbike rider and three-time North West 200 winner Glenn Irwin was friends with Dunlop and competed against the 32-year-old at the North West and Ulster Grand Prix in recent years.

    "William had a lot of talent on a motorbike - as much natural ability as anyone and he was always good craic with a dry sense of humour," said the Carrickfergus rider.

    "I'm not sure if he ever realised how good he was or how good he could become but he was always happy being William. He was so, so humble and my thoughts are with his mum Louise, partner Janine and the family.

    "He was very much a family man and I know he adored his daughter. The whole thing is heartbreaking. I look up to all the road racing guys and it was an honour to share a track with him."

    'Quiet, humble and unassuming'
    Radio Ulster motorcycle racing analyst Liam Beckett is a close friend of the Dunlop family and a former manager of William's father Robert, who was killed in a crash at the North West 200 10 years ago.

    "I know it's an old cliche but honestly William was one of the nicest, most humble, unassuming young lads you could ever wish to meet in life and an absolute talent on a motorcycle, like all the Dunlop family," said Beckett.

    "Things like this just leaves you sick to the pit of your stomach if I'm perfectly honest.

    "He leaves behind a tremendous legacy in terms of someone who I thought was a tremendous role model for road racing because not only was he such a talented individual, he was such a nice person to go along with it.

    "In many other sports nowadays you meet prima donnas and you meet people who are so full of their own importance and I would have to say William was the other side of the coin, he was a quiet lad who you had to drag the conversation out of. But he was a very talented rider."

    [​IMG]
    William Dunlop (right) pictured with his brother Michael, late father Robert and mother Louise on the occasion of Robert being granted the Freedom of the Borough of Ballymoney
    'One of the best'
    Ulster Grand Prix clerk of the course Noel Johnston described William as "one of the best, both as a person and as a rider".

    "He was a lovely lad who did whatever you asked of him, very, very likeable and I'm lost for words.

    "He was a Dunlop and racing was in his blood. It's thinking of those close to him who are left behind that makes it very difficult to cope with."

    Swami
     
  3. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Champian

    Message Count:
    4,534
    Trophy Points:
    3,136
    Location:
    Ballymoney, Co Antrim
    Ratings:
    +4,144
    Member Since:
    April 2006
    William Dunlop - 'A genuinely nice guy and a very talented racer'
    By Richard Petrie

    [​IMG]
    William Dunlop in action aboard Tim Martin's Temple Golf Club-backed Yamaha R1
    Like many others, my emotions on hearing of the passing of William Dunlop in an accident at the Skerries 100 on Saturday were ones of overwhelming shock and sadness.

    William was one of the most talented exponents of road racing of his generation, and the fact that he was also one of the nicest guys you could wish to meet, makes his sudden death even more heartbreaking and harder to accept.

    The close-knit motorcycle racing community has sadly been no stranger to tragedies on an all too regular basis in recent years, and has now been plunged into mourning once again with the devastating news of the loss of one of its favourite sons.


    William will be sadly missed by everyone involved with the sport, but most especially by his sorrowing family and close friends, to whom I send deepest sympathy.

    Much like his uncle Joey, William was quiet, unassuming and laid back - a man of few words, but always genuine, polite and courteous - going about his business in understated fashion and happy to let his racing do the talking.

    He shunned the limelight but would always accept your telephone call or make time for a short interview - even if the impression you were invariably left with afterwards was that things weren't entirely going his way.

    The last time I spoke to William he was aboard the ferry from Belfast to the Isle of Man to, in his own words, 'give it a go' at the TT, after suffering injuries in a crash which forced him to miss Saturday's racing at the North West 200 a couple of weeks previous.

    It was hard to know with William but his tone perhaps betrayed the fact that the speculation that his passion for the sport had waned somewhat and he was considering his future in road racing might be true.

    The following week he was on his way home again to be with his pregnant partner Janine amid concerns about a 20-week scan, but that situation had improved and the couple were looking forward to the arrival of their second child.


    Media playback is not supported on this device

    William Dunlop won a Superbike race for Tyco TAS Racing at the 2018 NW200
    The Dunlop family name is synonymous with speed far beyond the confines of motorcycle sport in Northern Ireland and beyond.

    William, along with his brother Michael, inherited the talent of his father Robert and uncle Joey, perpetuating the famous racing dynasty following the deaths of the revered Ballymoney brothers in accidents in 2000 and 2008.

    Road racing fans marvel at the skill and bravery required of all riders who take up the challenge of this most demanding and unforgiving of sports but William was a special talent in a two-wheel discipline in which small margins count for everything.

    Smooth, stylish, inch perfect and pinpoint accurate, using just the right amount of road - these were the consistent hallmarks of William's riding.

    Devastated by the death of his father in practice for the North West 200 10 years ago, he briefly flirted with the idea of transferring his skills to short circuit racing - but while he continued to dabble occasionally in that two-wheel discipline, it was as a pure road racer that he was most successful and will be best remembered.

    Supersport specialist
    During the early part of his career he excelled in the lightweight 250cc and 125cc classes, enjoying tinkering with the temperamental two-strokes, but more recently he was most at home in the Supersport category, always regarded as a potential winner at whatever track he competed at.

    The 600s became 'his class', although he memorably got the better of his brother Michael in a thrilling Superbike race at the North West 200 in 2014 - his sole international victory on the 'big bikes'.

    To the frustration of his many fans and admirers, it appeared that William sometimes lacked the raw aggression and ruthless desire to win displayed by some of his rivals which may have fulfilled his potential to the full and brought him more international successes.

    That said he was no stranger to the top step of the podium - four North West wins, seven Ulster Grand Prix triumphs and 108 Irish national road race wins bear testament to his outstanding ability.

    Also a gifted golfer and footballer, like all road racers, William was acutely aware of the ever-present attendant dangers which accompany this most exhilarating, yet often most cruel, of sports,

    Sadly, we will no longer see the familiar 'number 6' adorning the race tracks and paddocks of Ireland or the Isle of Man. The racing will no doubt go on, but the sport is much the poorer for his passing.

    Swami
     

Users Who Have Read This Thread (Total: 1)

Share This Page