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Road Racer of the Year vote: 7th - William Dunlop

You place William Dunlop seventh in our Road Racer of the Year poll...
7th – William Dunlop
Average poll score out of ten: 6.9
Team: Tyco Suzuki
NW200 wins: 1
Podiums: 0
Isle of Man TT wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Ulster Grand Prix wins: 0
Podiums: 0

William Dunlop made a dream start with new team Tyco Suzuki at the North West 200 in May, clinching his first Superbike victory at one of the main international road races.

Dunlop was caught and passed by his brother Michael on the final lap as the pair went head to head in the tricky conditions, treating the Ulster fans to a gripping showdown.

Few would have bet against the younger Dunlop closing out victory on the run along the Coast Road for the last time towards the finishing, but it was William who had the final say as he slipped underneath his brother on the brakes into Juniper Chicane to take a brilliant victory for the Northern Ireland team.

The Ballymoney man finished sixth in the opening Superbike race at the Isle of Man TT in June and stood on the rostrum in the second Supersport event, finishing third behind his brother Michael and Kiwi Bruce Anstey.

But perhaps it was in the Senior race where Dunlop made his biggest impression as he stormed out of the traps to lead the blue riband event by 1.3 seconds on the opening lap at Glen Helen.

Dunlop had dropped to second place at the end of lap two behind his brother and eventual winner Michael but his race came to an abrupt end on the third lap, with a crash at Graham Memorial ending his chances.

Nonetheless, Dunlop has shown he has the pace to challenge at the front in the blue riband class at the TT and the Northern Ireland man will be aiming to make amends next June.

He was back in action by the time the Ulster Grand Prix came around in August but Dunlop was again out of luck, breaking down while leading the Supersport race on the final lap and withdrawing from the Superbike class as he battled an energy-sapping virus.

Dunlop has been retained by TAS Racing for the 2015 international road races, joining Guy Martin in the new Tyco BMW team.

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About the vote:
Over 45,000 votes were cast for the 2014 Crash.net Road Racer of the Year poll, where viewers awarded a shortlist of 15 of this season's most impressive riders with a mark out of ten.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
William Dunlop on the Tyco Suzuki at the North West 200
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.
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki at the Classic TT.
Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts RS250 Honda at the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 at the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 during practice for the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop
Gary Johnson
Ian Lougher, Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston in the winners` enclosure following the 2015 500cc Classic TT
Tyco BMW`s Ian Hutchinson
Bruce Anstey on the YZR500 Yamaha at the Classic TT.
Ian Hutchinson leads Michael Dunlop in the Superbike class at the Ulster Grand Prix.

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