Dunlop hungry for more North West success

Michael Dunlop tests his Milwaukee Yamaha R1 Superbike at Kirkistown ahead of this week's North West 200.
Michael Dunlop tests his Milwaukee Yamaha R1 Superbike at Kirkistown ahead of this week's North West 200.

Michael Dunlop may be keeping his cards close to his chest ahead of this week’s Vauxhall International North West 200, but he is determined to grab more glory on the Triangle circuit.

The Ballymoney man will be one of the hot favourites on the north coast this week and he is hungry for more success.

“I love winning and the buzz I get from it; I’m passionate about it, for me is all about winning,” said Dunlop.

“I’m feeling fit and strong and hungry as ever and I’m ready to do my job. I do my stuff on the track and I work hard at it. When you’re out there riding your own motorbike at your best and it’s all going well, it’s the best feeling in the world.”

The 25-year-old opted for Yamaha as his weapon of choice this year and has given the R1 a big thumbs-up.

“I was really impressed with the R1 ’stock bike in Spain,” said Dunlop.

“It looks quite tiny and small but when you get on it, it feels big. We turned the key and away we went and we were able to do whatever we wanted to do with the bike.

“I felt comfortable on it and the bike went where I wanted it to; I’m really looking forward to the Superbike now.”

Dunlop is taking on a similar task to the one he faced last year, when his shock move to BMW to ride the S1000RR left some questioning the logic behind his decision.

However, victories in the main Superbike and Superstock races at the North West 200 and a clean sweep of the 1000cc races at the TT vindicated his choice.

“It’s a bit like last year and the new R1 is something different again. I don’t make life easy for myself and I went with Honda, then BMW and now Yamaha – I’m keen to prove I can ride motorbikes,” Dunlop added.

“No-one wanted the BMW last year, but now everyone wants one.”

The first three races will be held following final qualifying on Thursday evening with the opening Supersport, Supertwin and Superstock events, with roads closing again from 5.15pm-9pm.

Saturday’s main race bill includes both Superbike races, plus the final Supersport, Superstock and Supertwin races, with roads closing at 9.30am sharp.

Meanwhile BBC Sport NI is gearing up to provide bike fans with the most comprehensive coverage yet of the NW200 across TV, radio and online.

The event will see tens of thousands of fans lining the nine mile circuit on race day to witness the best riders in the world pit their wits against each other.

Jane Tohill, executive producer BBC Sport NI said: “The team at BBC Sport NI are once again looking forward to this year’s NW200.

“It is our eighth consecutive North West 200 as primary broadcasters and we are delighted to be providing comprehensive coverage of the event across TV, radio and online.”

Mervyn Whyte MBE, Technical Director said; “The North West team has built up a strong relationship with Jane Tohill and the BBC Sport NI team and we are all looking forward to working with them again in 2015.

“The BBC ensures that not only the spectacle of the race but also the numerous attractions of the beautiful North Coast will be beamed into millions of homes around the world in an exciting mix of radio, TV and online coverage.”

Coverage of the NW200 on BBC One NI will include three highlights programmes on Friday 15 May, Sunday 17 May and Monday 18 May, all presented by Stephen Watson and Phillip McCallen.

BBC Radio Ulster will have live coverage of the practice sessions on Thursday with coverage of the races live on Thursday and Saturday all hosted by Joel Taggart and Michael McNamee.

There will also be worldwide streaming of all the practice sessions and races on bbc.co.uk/sportni.