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William Dunlop unfazed by hype over his chances at TT2012

'A lot of people are tipping me this year at the TT and saying I can do this and I can do that, but I feel it myself' - William Dunlop
William Dunlop finds himself in unchartered territory at this year's Isle of Man TT races, where's he's being tipped as a race winner for the first time.

In previous seasons Dunlop has made the trip across the Irish Sea with an outside chance of finishing on the rostrum.

But this time, it's different.

The 26-year-old has gradually built on his experience of the iconic Mountain Course and now in his second term with Wilson Craig's Honda team, Dunlop is comfortable in his surroundings and is growing in stature as he begins to assert himself as a serious player in the feature classes on the roads.

He defeated British Supersport champion Alastair Seeley to win the first 600cc race at the North West 200 – his maiden success on the Triangle course in the four-stroke classes – and Dunlop is bidding for more of the same at the most celebrated road race of them all.

Rather than feeling intimidated by the expectation that his first victory at the Isle of Man TT is on the cards this year, Dunlop is at ease with the pre-TT hype marking him out as a major contender.

“A lot of people are tipping me this year at the TT and saying I can do this and I can do that, but I feel it myself,” he told the Belfast News Letter.

“This is the first year I've really felt as though I've got a chance at the TT.

“It's nothing to do with what anyone else is saying, I just feel myself that I have half a chance here.

“There is a bit of pressure and I was even disappointed after Saturday's practice laps on the Supertwin because the bike wasn't handling how I wanted it and because I was slowed down after I got some flies on my visor,” he added.

“I wouldn't have cared as much before but I was thinking 'I've missed out on two good laps there' so I was looking at it as a missed opportunity whereas before I was just going out and trying to learn the place.”

Already, William has stood on the top step at the North West and Ulster Grand Prix and he now has ambitions of completing the set with a prestigious TT success – a feat he readily accepts is the pinnacle of any road racer's career.

“A TT win is the peak for every rider. It's one that I don't have and it would complete the set if I could get a win there,” he said.

“But to win at the TT is much harder to achieve than at any other race but I shouldn't b too far away.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
William Dunlop - Wilson Craig Honda [pic credit: Glynne Lewis]
John McGuinness at the Isle of Man TT in 2014
Ian Lougher at the Classic TT in 2014
Tyco BMW rider Guy Martin
David Johnson will make his debut at the Classic TT in 2014
Danny Webb in action at the 2014 Isle of Man TT
Connor Behan in action at the 2014 Isle of Man TT
Lee Johnston in action at the 2014 Isle of Man TT
Keith Amor on the Rig Deluge BMW S1000RR
William Dunlop will ride a rotary Norton at the Classic TT
Dean Harrison will ride for Black Eagle Racing at the 2015 Classic TT
Lee Johnston will ride for Black Eagle Racing at the 2015 Classic TT
Gary Johnson leads Alastair Seeley and Bruce Anstey at the North West 200
Cameron Donald will again ride for Norton at the Isle of Man TT in 2015
Mugen riders John McGuinness and Bruce Anstey at the 2014 Isle of Man TT
Robbin Harms and Isle of Man TT rider liaison officer Richard Quayle on the TT circuit
William and Michael Dunlop in action at the North West 200
Jeremy McWilliams on the Harris Yamaha at the Island International Classic at Phillip Island

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