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Dunlop brothers follow in father's Macau footsteps

18 October 2011

By Kyle White

Northern Ireland road race stars William and Michael Dunlop will retrace their father's footsteps as they prepare to make their debut at the Macau Grand Prix in the Far East next month.

Ulster legend Robert Dunlop was victorious at the notorious steel barrier-lined Guia street circuit in 1989 when he defeated Phillip McCallen and Steve Hislop on a 500cc Honda.

It was an achievement Robert was extremely proud of and one that was never accomplished by his elder brother and Isle of Man TT hero Joey.

And although William revealed that Robert never wished for his sons to compete at Macau due to the dangers involved, the brothers have decided to travel to China to take on the unique challenges of the 3.8-mile public roads course on Saturday, November 19.

William will have Wilson Craig's Honda Superbike at his disposal, with Michael riding the works Paul Bird Motorsport Kawasaki ZX-10.

“We're going together and we'll fly into London and then make the journey over to Macau,” Dunlop said.

“I'm looking forward to getting away for a while and also seeing what it's all about over there because I've heard so much about it.

“My dad was never keen on us racing at Macau to be honest but it's one of those things – the experience will be good.

“A crash is a crash on the roads no matter where it happens, but I'm not going over there to race hard, I'm going to enjoy the whole thing.

“It's an invitation-only race and the organisers are very choosy about who they ask to come and race, so if you don't treat the place with respect you won't get to race and you won't be asked back.

“It's happened before when they've told riders they won't be asked back.”

Scottish rider Stuart Easton has won the Macau Grand Prix for the past three years but misses out this time as he recovers from his horrific North West 200 crash.

John McGuinness will ride for the British Superbike SMT Honda team alongside Northern Ireland's Stephen Thompson, although McGuinness's Honda TT Legends team-mate Keith Amor is not entered.

Lincolnshire's Gary Johnson is an interesting entry on the Relentless TAS Suzuki at Macau, opening up the possibility of further involvement with the team next season on the roads with Guy Martin.

Ian Hutchinson is due to make his racing comeback on the Swan Yamaha, while Conor Cummins is also entered on a works Kawasaki for Bird.

Michael Rutter – who is tied with ex-GP star Ron Haslam on six wins at Macau – is chasing a record seventh triumph on his Team of Paris Ducati.

A sensational line-up is completed by Kiwi Bruce Anstey on Clive Padgett's Honda CBR1000-RR for the 45th running of the prestigious event.


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