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Michael Dunlop unfazed by Seeley threat at NW200

'I'm not worried about [Alastair] Seeley – he's the least of my problems' - Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop hasn't lost any sleep worrying about the opposition as he sets out in pursuit of victory in the premier class at the Relentless International North West 200.

Dunlop has not enjoyed the pre-season preparation he would have liked, with late confirmation of his plans for 2012 severely restricting his time on his stable of new machines prior to the road racing showpiece on the North Coast.

However, he was up and running at the Tandragee 100 National meeting in Northern Ireland, picking up wins in the feature Superbike race and the 600cc event to arrive in Portstewart in a positive frame of mind.

Much of the talk has been centred on Carrick's Alastair Seeley, who is being hyped up as the rider to beat in every class.

But Dunlop says the Tyco Suzuki British Superbike ace is the least of his worries.

“I'm not worried about [Alastair] Seeley – he's the least of my problems. Everybody says he's top dollar around the North West but he's not really – Steve Plater was the man here and I'd love to see Steve back again,” said Dunlop.

“There are more riders out there other than Seeley and come race day I'll just worry about myself.”

The 23-year-old's number one target this year is to add to his two victories at the Isle of Man TT next month, but that won't prevent Dunlop from giving his all as he takes on the overseas challengers on his home patch at the North West 200.

And nothing would give him greater pleasure than following in his dad Robert's footsteps by showing a clean pair of heels to the British championship big guns.

“When you look at it over the past few years at the North West a lot of the winners are the riders from the British championships.

“I'll take my hat off to Steve Plater because he was the man. If Steve was still racing at the North West he'd still be the man,” said Dunlop.

“Steve went to the North West and won but he won at the TT as well, so you have to say fair play to him.

“I'd love to see him come back because he's a really talented rider at the North West and he's fast.

“It'd be nice to get a Superbike win at the North West and beat all the British championship boys who are obviously all running high-end specification engines, so hopefully we can do it.

“I think we have a turn of speed with the Honda and enough in the tank to do it, so it's looking good,” he said.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Dunlop - Street Sweep Kawasaki [pic credit: Glynne Lewis]
Conor Cummins has joined the Padgetts Racing Honda team for 2017.
Lee Johnston has teamed up with Ryan Farquhar to race a KMR Kawasaki in the NI Air Ambulance colours at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
Alastair Seeley with the Tyco BMW he will race at the North West 200.
John McGuinness on the Jackson Racing Honda.
Michael Dunlop, Carl Cox, [Credit: Holeshot PR]
Michael Dunlop has signed for Bennets Suzuki for the 2017 international road races.
Michael Dunlop has signed for the Bennett Suzuki team for 2017.
Guy Martin, John McGuinness Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Guy Martin, Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Josh Brookes has signed to ride for Norton at the Isle of Man TT in 2017.
Dan Kneen has signed for the Penz13.com Racing Team for the 2017 road races.
Dan Hegarty won the TT Privateers Championship in 2016.
Peter Hickman will ride for Smiths Racing in 2017 at the international road races and in the British Superbike Championship.
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.

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Bill: I did go to see Michael race and I stand by my comment I fail to see what bearing my weight has on it as my size has nothing to do with Michaels but as I am around a foot taller and a rugby player (with a build to suit) I do weigh more than 11.5 stone (have done since I was a teenager) - its important to compare apples with apples I would like to mention that my last body fat measurement (measured with callipers) was 7% - is Michaels less than that.......? I suspect I won't get an answer to this question.......

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