William Dunlop tested a Kawasaki Supertwin on Saturday at Bishopscourt in Northern Ireland as he gets to grips with the 650cc machine ahead of the Isle of Man TT in June.

Dunlop plans to compete in the class on the Mountain Course, with the TT attracting a quality line-up including Ryan Farquhar, Cameron Donald, Adrian Archibald, Simon Andrews, Ian Lougher, Michael Rutter, Dan Kneen, John Burrows and William's brother Michael, who is also entered on an ER6.

Reintroduced as the
Lightweight race, the Supertwin event will be held on the final day of the TT festival before the showpiece Senior race on Friday, June 8.

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A Supertwin race will also be held at the Relentless International North West 200 for the first time this year on the Thursday evening following daytime practice.

A similar entry has been received for the Triangle event, with former Grand Prix rider Jeremy McWilliams joining Jamie Hamilton and Farquhar in the Dungannon rider's KMR Kawasaki colours.

Dunlop said he has yet to make a decision on whether or not he will ride in the class at the North West, but confirmed he will race the Trackday Tools/Emerald Road Racing ER6 at the TT.

The bike was previously raced by rising young road racing prospect Wayne Hamilton, who was tragically killed at the Manx Grand Prix last year.

Dunlop said: "It's really geared around the TT and I've no plans to do any national road races on it. I'm not sure about the North West 200 yet because I don't want to take away from my rides on Wilson Craig's bikes.

"This season is all about getting a win for Wilson and that's the main thing I'm concentrating on. It was actually quite a fun bike to ride and they are pretty fast as well, though they don't really respond to any changes you make to the suspension or anything," said Dunlop, reflecting on Saturday's test.

"I'll have a go on it at the TT but one downside will be the lack of time I'll have on the bike because I'll be concentrating on Wilson's bikes in practice. Davy (Hamilton) said he would look after the bike for me this year and the only reason I'm riding it is because I had a lot of time for Wayne and I've a lot of time for Davy.

"I've been offered so many rides on a Supertwin this season but I was only ever going to take this one. The TT is the main goal for me on Wilson's bikes and the Supertwin race doesn't come until the end of the week, so hopefully I'll have got a win by then!

"I'm not a massive fan of the class but it gives fans something different I suppose. Until Honda makes a Supertwin then I don't think the class carries a lot of weight," he added.

"There are some good riders who've signed up for the Supertwin races this year but when you look at it you don't have the likes of John McGuinness, Gary Johnson, Ian Hutchinson or Guy Martin entered and I think you really need those top names to make it more interesting."

Dunlop has remained in Wilson Craig's Honda team for a second season in 2012.