Michael Dunlop News
The rider who won four of five solo races at the 2013 Isle of Man TT – Michael Dunlop – positively wrapped up Tuesday’s North West practice aboard the BMW Motorrad / Hawk Racing S1000RR.
The nephew of the late Joey Dunlop – who holds the record at the Isle of Man TT for 26 TT wins – Michael Dunlop is entering both the North West 200 Superbike and Superstock racers aboard BMW S1000RR machinery.
Dunlop piloted his Superbike-spec BMW S1000RR to the eighth-quickest time in Superbike practice, which was led by Bathams BMW’s Michael Rutter. Dunlop’s quickest lap was 118.316 mph. To put this time into perspective, Rutter’s lap was 121.106 mph.
In the Superstock class, which was led by Saiger Kawasaki’s Horst Saiger, Dunlop was 11th quickest.
Michael Dunlop says “I’m feeling good so far. I’m getting on well with the BMW and we’ve got a good setup to start with. With some more time on it on Thursday it’ll all come together and I’m pretty confident we’ll be challenging for a race win.”
Dunlop, who has seven-career TT wins, has two victories at the North West 200 – one in the former 250cc class, and one in a Supersport class.
Dunlop’s debut aboard the S1000RR arrived at the opening round of the British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch earlier this year. Though he suffered a crash on the Buildbase BMW Motorrad S1000RR, the Northern Irish rider is fit and ready to take on all competitors at the North West 200.
In addition to the factory-supported BMW Motorrad / Hawk Racing team, there are 17 other racers in the Superbike class riding BMW S 1000 RR motorcycles, including multiple NW200 winner Michael Rutter (Bathams BMW), Simon Andrews (Penz13.com BMW Racing), Martin Jessop (Riders Motorcycles) and Peter Hickman (Ice Valley Motorsave BMW). This makes approximately one-third of the 55 motorcycles who qualified in today’s session BMWs.
The next practice session will be Thursday morning, with racing held that evening and again on Saturday. BBC Northern Ireland is broadcasting live practice and race coverage online, which can be found here.
Vauxhall International North West 200 Superbike – Tuesday (First) Qualifying:
1) Michael Rutter (Bathams BMW) 4:26.643
2) Alastair Seeley (Mar-Train Kawasaki) +1.601s
3) Guy Martin (Tyco Suzuki) +2.104s
4) William Dunlop (Tyco Suzuki) +3.443s
5) Martin Jessop (Riders BMW) +5.625s
6) Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +5.805s
7) Bruce Anstey (Padgetts Honda) +6.138s
8) Michael Dunlop (BMW Motorrad / Hawk Racing) +6.228s
9) Simon Andrews (Penz13.com BMW) +6.736s
10 Lee Johnston (ECC Pirtek Honda) +6.748s
To see the first day’s timesheets and stats, download the PDF here.
About the North West 200.
The North West 200 is held on closed roads between Coleraine, Portrush and Portstewart, creating an 8.9-mile lap known as ‘the Triangle’. It is by far the biggest attended sporting event in Northern Ireland, attracting over 150,000 visitors a year.
Unlike the Isle of Man which runs as a time trial, the NW200 is a massed start race, which sees riders launch from the grid on the seafront and hit speeds of over 205mph on the straights.
Practice sessions are held on Tuesday and Thursday, with racing held on Thursday evening and Saturday during the day.
For more information on the North West 200 visit: www.northwest200.org.