Last Saturday 32-year-old William Dunlop of the Dunlop motorbike racing dynasty from Ballymoney, tragically lost his life in a fatal crash during a practice lap at the Skerries 100 in Dublin.
The race which he had won on fifteen occasions. William was taking part in an Open race practice session on his Temple Golf Club-backed R1 Yamaha when he crashed at the Sam’s Tunnel section of the circuit on the third lap. This is the third tragedy for the Dunlop family in the last eighteen years. William’s uncle, iconic world-famous biker Joey Dunlop was killed whilst leading the 125cc race in Tallinn, Estonia in the Summer of 2000. William’s father, legendary motorbike racer Robert Dunlop also lost his life after sustaining fatal injuries during a practice run at the North West 200 event in May 2008. William’s brother Michael went onto win that race and dedicated it to his father. At the request of the Dunlop family, the Skerries 100 race went ahead as planned yesterday. A true testament of the love of racing that courses through the Dunlop families’ veins.
William began his racing career at the age of seventeen in the 125cc class, the same year as his uncle Joey Dunlop died doing what he loved. Over the course of William’s career, he amassed 108 Irish National Road Race wins. He also won the prestigious North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix, four times and seven times respectively. He also participated in several TT Racing festivals, securing third tier on the podium on four occasions. His best result was two years ago when he finished as the runner up in the 2016 TT Zero race. William participated in this years’ practice week in Isle of Man but withdrew from the festival to be with his pregnant partner Janine. The couple already have one daughter, Ella and were looking forward to the arrival of their second child later in the year. William also leaves behind his mother Louise, brother and rider in arms Michael, younger brother Daniel and a large extended circle of family, friends and fans.
Tributes flooded social media from family, friends, motor racing fans, fellow riders and a number of celebrities, all completely devastated by the loss of such a kind and talented young man. William is the third road racer to lose his life this year, after Manx man Dan Kneen and Adam Lyon died tragically at this year’s Isle of Man TT.
BetMcLean Management and staff send our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family, friends and fans of William Dunlop.