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Dunlop looks to 2012

“I'll be able to hit the ground running next year for a change and I'm really looking forward to another season with Wilson Craig” - William Dunlop.
By Kyle White

Top Northern Ireland road racer William Dunlop is confident he can make a blistering start to the 2012 campaign as he aims to build on a successful debut season in the Wilson Craig Honda team.

Dunlop made impressive strides forward this year, particularly on the larger capacity machines, and the Ballymoney prospect feels he has more to give on the 1000cc Honda Fireblade at the international road races next year.

The 26-year-old last rode Craig's machine at the Macau Grand Prix in the Far East last month, where he made his debut at the famous race in China, finishing 13th – one place behind younger brother Michael, who won his second TT race with victory in the Superstock class in June.

Dunlop said: “It was good to get a run on Wilson's Superbike again and there bike hasn't changed since I last rode it. It only needs a few tweaks here and there for next year.

“I'll be riding the new 2012 Honda Fireblade in the Superstock class next season, but I'm not sure if we're getting the new Superbike model - maybe we'll just stick with the old bike.

“It was one of the fastest bikes through the speed trap at Macau and I've always said how much I enjoy riding it. I'll be able to hit the ground running next year for a change and I'm really looking forward to another season with Wilson.

“I know the team now and I'm comfortable on the bikes, so come the North West 200 [May 19] we should be more than ready.”

Reflecting on his first taste of racing at Macau, Dunlop – whose late father and Ulster road racing legend Robert won the even in 1989 – said he was always on the back foot after inclement weather hampered qualifying.

He made an uncharacteristic mistake in free practice, crashing out at Fisherman's when tailing Bruce Anstey on Clive Padgett's Honda.

Dunlop escaped unhurt but admitted afterwards that even an apparently minor accident could have severe consequences at Macau.

“It's the kind of place where you could fall off at 50mph and end up seriously hurt or worse,” he told Crash.Net.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
William Dunlop - Wilson Craig Honda [pic credit: Glynne Lewis]
Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW Superbike during Isle of Man TT practice.
Bruce Anstey on the Honda RC213V-S during practice for the Isle of Man TT.
Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW Superbike during practice for the Isle of Man TT
A unique collection of machines raced by John McGuinness at the Isle of Man TT will be on display in 2016 to mark his 20th anniversary of racing at the event.
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki Supersport machine during practice for the Isle of Man TT
James Hillier in action at the Isle of Man TT
Manx rider Dean Martin
Bruce Anstey is set to ride a Honda RC213V-S at the Isle of Man TT
Ryan Farquhar with his wife Karen in the Royal Victoria Hospital
Conor Cummins will race for Padgett`s Honda in the Supersport and Superstock races at the Isle of Man TT.
Lee Johnston on the East Coast/Burdens Triumph at the North West 200.
Michael Rutter in action at the North West 200
John McGuinness on the Honda Racing Fireblade at the North West 200.
John McGuinness on the Honda Fireblade at the North West 200
Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW in the Superstock race at the North West 200
Jeremy McWilliams on the Mar-Train Yamaha at the North West 200
Ivan Lintin on the Devitt RC Express Kawasaki at the North West 200

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