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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
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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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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