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Dunlop to make EWC debut at Bol 'd'Or

'I'm obviously pleased to have been chosen to race and I'm looking forward to it' - Michael Dunlop
Northern Ireland's Michael Dunlop will start this weekend's Bol d'Or 24-hour Endurance World Championship race in place of Michael Rutter.

Dunlop, who was the fastest of the Honda TT Legends riders during qualifying, is making his race debut in the series.

John McGuinness will lead the charge on the CBR1000RR Fireblade at Magny-Cours in France, with Simon Andrews up next followed by Dunlop, who travelled to the event as a reserve rider for the team.

However, team boss Neil Tuxworth decided to side with Dunlop as Rutter continues to feel the effects of a broken leg he suffered during pre-season testing with the team at Mireval in France.

A delighted Dunlop, called into the EWC team after initially being signed by Tuxworth for the Superbike races at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT road races, said: “I don't do a lot of short circuit racing so it's nice to have been the quickest rider today.

“I actually feel like I could have gone a bit quicker and I think that will come with a bit more time on the bike.

“We're certainly making headway with the set-up. We obviously aim to get to a stage where everybody is happy, we can't just make me happy or someone else happy, so it's a compromise but it seems to be working,” added the 24-year-old.

“I'm obviously pleased to have been chosen to race and I'm looking forward to it.”

Although Dunlop set the fastest time of the Legends riders overall, his lap did not contribute to the team's overall qualifying position based on his status as a reserve rider.

Based on the times of McGuinness, Andrews and Rutter, the team will start from ninth position.

Tuxworth said: “We've had no machine issues at all during the official free practice and qualifying over the past two days, so it's gone very well.

“We pride ourselves on our reliability but we're trying to increase the performance all the time as well.

“I do think our bike is working better than last year, the new electronics system has certainly improved things,” he said.

“We're in a reasonably strong position for the race and the decision has been made to run McGuinness, Andrews and Dunlop in that order.

“Michael Rutter has obviously got some injuries he's recovering from and he's the one most likely to suffer during the race having not done a 24-hour before, so we think this is the best scenario.”

Rutter said he 'fully understood' the decision to start with Dunlop.

“It's been good over the past couple of days, learning the track, doing the night practice and getting used to the new way of working in the endurance championship.

“The body's hanging in after the crash injuries but I fully understand the decision for me not to do the race,” he said.

“I wish the guys all the best of luck and hope they can bring home a good result.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Dunlop on the Honda TT Legends Fireblade at Magny-Cours
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki in the Senior TT.
Peter Hickman in the Senior TT on the Smiths BMW.
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki in the Senior TT.
Bruce Anstey on his way to victory in the TT Zero race.
Guy Martin on the Honda Racing Superbike.
Alan Bonner was killed in an incident at the 33rd Milestone.
Jochem van den Hoek.
Michael Rutter took victory in the Lightweight TT on the Italian Paton.
Dan Kneen celebrates with his team after sealing his maiden Isle of Man TT rostrum in the Superstock race.
Ian Hutchinson celebrates his Superstock victory.
Ian Hutchinson on his way to victory in the Superstock TT on the Tyco BMW.
Davey Lambert in the RST Superbike race.
A Sidecar narrowly missed spectators in an incident that was captured in a video posted on YouTube.
James Hillier on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki in the opening Supersport TT race.
Michael Dunlop in the Supersport TT.
Michael Dunlop on his Yamaha in the Supersport TT.
Peter Hickman claimed his maiden podium at the Isle of Man TT with a runner-up finish in the RST Superbike race.

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bigphil sp1 - Unregistered

April 19, 2013 8:29 PM

many people on this site critised this guy but he's proving how good he is. He's a team manager's dream in that he is quick, ultra competative, hungry and a good race mechanic who can help set a bike up very quickly.I was a great supporter of his uncle Joey but always thought Michael's father Robert had the edge on short circuits and I think Michael has inherited his father's brilliance.

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