9th – William Dunlop
Average poll score out of ten: 5.8
Tyco BMW/CD Racing
Isle of Man TT wins:
Ulster Grand Prix wins:
Macau Grand Prix:
William Dunlop atoned for a disappointing season at the international road race meetings by impressing at the Irish National events, with the 30-year-old from Ballymoney securing the Superbike and Supersport titles.
Dunlop's hopes at the 'big three' major road races were hindered by injury, with a crash in practice at the North West 200 leaving him battered and bruised.
For the second year running, Dunlop was involved in a huge accident at the Isle of Man TT, coming off the Tyco BMW Superstock machine on a practice lap on the fast entry towards Laurel Bank.
He suffered a broken rib in the incident and was ruled out of the remainder of the festival, but was extremely fortunate to escape more serious injury. It was a disappointing outcome for the Northern Ireland man, who was among the favourites in the Supersport class in particular, although Dunlop did complete the opening RST Superbike race prior to his crash, finishing a solid fifth on the S1000RR behind John McGuinness.
Back home in Ireland, Dunlop was enjoying better luck as he dominated the Supersport class on Chris Dowd's 600cc Yamaha at events such as the Cookstown 100, Tandragee 100, Skerries and Armoy National road races. He went through the season unbeaten on the R6 with nine championship wins and also clinched the Superbike crown on the Tyco BMW Superstock machine by six points from Dublin's Derek Sheils.
Traditionally a happy hunting ground for Dunlop, the Ulster Grand Prix offered the quiet Ulsterman the opportunity to bag an international win at the end of the campaign and Dunlop went agonisingly close in the opening Supersport race, losing out by only 0.039 seconds to Lee Johnston after a blistering race.
After two seasons with Philip Neill's TAS Racing outfit, Dunlop parted company from the team and has linked up with long-time backer Chris Dowd full-time for 2016, when he will ride a Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike and his trusty R6, both prepared to the highest specification by former Yamaha WSBK engine guru Marcus Eschenbacher.
Dunlop has also joined forces with Nick Morgan' MSS Performance outfit to compete in the Superstock class on a Kawasaki ZX-10R.
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About the vote:
Thousands of votes were cast for the 2015 Crash.net
Road Racer of the Year poll, where viewers awarded a shortlist of this season's most impressive riders with a mark out of ten.