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Dunlop back in action for first time since TT heroics
6 July 2012
Michael Dunlop hopes to lay the foundations for a successful defence of his Southern 100 titles with a victorious return to national road racing at this weekend's 67th Skerries 100 near Dublin.
Dunlop hasn't raced since the Isle of Man TT, opting to sit out the Mid-Antrim 150 and Bush meetings in Northern Ireland in June.
But he returns to action with a vengeance this month, kicking off a busy period at the popular Skerries race before next week's Southern 100 on the Billown circuit on the Isle of Man, where the 23-year-old claimed a magnificent treble in 2011.
Dunlop and his brother William top the entry list at Skerries along with KMR Kawasaki's Ryan Farquhar, who heads to the first national event in southern Ireland this year in a rich vein of form after notching consecutive five-timers at the Mid-Antrim and Bush.
All three plan to use their superbike machines in the Open and Grand Final races at Skerries and Dunlop - who secured his third TT win with a terrific Supersport success last month - expects a hard day at the office tomorrow.
"You could always ride the superstock bike and it would be an easier option around the wee roads at Skerries, but I enjoy riding the big superbike.
"It'll be a handful, but it'll be a bit of craic as well and it's a challenge,” he told the Belfast News Letter.
"I rode a Honda Superbike at Skerries before when I rode Gareth Robinson's Fireblade for the first time a few years back and I enjoyed it.
"It'll give us a chance as well to see how the bike is going before we head over to the Southern 100 on Sunday."
Farquhar was absent at Skerries last summer as he took a break from the national scene but aims to underline his standing as the country's number one national road racer this weekend.
The 36-year-old intends to ride his Kawasaki ZX-10R superbike, with William Dunlop also superbike-mounted on Wilson Craig's
Practice takes place today with a nine-race programme getting underway at around 9.30am tomorrow.
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