Tyco Suzuki’s new road racing recruit
William Dunlop has never been one to court the limelight, preferring the more
subtle approach, and that’s exactly the route he has taken with new employers
Team manager Philip Neill has taken
the Ballymoney man into unfamiliar territory so far this season, with William
enjoying two very productive testing trips to Spain: these included three days
at Almeria with Guy Martin, and was followed up by two days at Cartagena
alongside new team-mates John Hopkins, Josh Waters and Taylor Mackenzie.
And just this week, team manager
Philip Neill showed his commitment to the cause by flying in Stewart Johnstone,
the team’s technical expert and BSB crew chief to new BSB star John Hopkins –
for a one-on-one day with Dunlop at Kirkistown, as he explained.
“I think William surprised himself at
Kirkistown under the guidance of Stewart Johnstone. They put in a lot of work
in different areas and he said himself, he’s really enjoying both our Superbike
and Supersport machines.”
Johnstone has worked with some of the
best in the business and some experienced onlookers who were at Kirkistown on
Tuesday, were also very impressed with how Dunlop has adapted to Suzuki
machinery and the way of life at TAS Racing.
Dunlop’s schedule of races has yet to
be decided. The only thing that Neill would confirm were the three
internationals and Cookstown, but the Ballymoney based rider is expected to
take in a number of National Road Races and possibly even a run out at Easter
Neill added: “I’m almost certain,
everything William has picked up this week working with Stuart to perfect his
riding style on a Superbike, will help him make huge strides forward this
season with our GS-R machinery.”
Despite having taken high-profile
Aussie Josh Brookes to the TT last year, collecting the top newcomer’s prize
with an astonishing lap of over 127mph, Neill is equally excited to have Dunlop
in his rank and file this term.
“It’s an exciting development for us.
Of course we have excitement in abundance with Guy Martin, but William does add
an important local angle to our team, which I feel we have been missing for
quite some time at the TT.”
Showing respect to Brookes, he added: “Yes last
year working with Josh Brookes was exciting, bringing such a high-profile
newcomer to the TT, but I’ve always wanted to be back to working with a local
rider and to have William Dunlop partner with Guy Martin is undoubtedly the