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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]
Peter Hickman won the Macau Grand Prix for the second year running on the Bathams/SMT BMW.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.
Peter Hickman on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Peter Hickman on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Peter Hickman in action at the 50th Macau Grand Prix on the Bathams/SMT BMW.
Michael Rutter on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Martin Jessopp on the Riders Motorcycles BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Michael Rutter and John McGuinness during the pre-event press conference ahead of the 50th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Michael Rutter topped the opening practice session for the 2016 Macau Grand Prix.
Action from the 2016 North West 200
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 during the Classic Superbike race at the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Black Eagle MV Agusta at the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Black Eagle MV Agusta at the Classic TT.
Bruce Anstey won the Lightweight race at the Classic TT on the Padgetts Honda RS250.
John McGuinness on the Winfield Paton at the Classic TT.
Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts RS250 Honda at the Classic TT.

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