Gary ready for Cookstown after promising debut

Mandatory Credit:  Rowland White/PressEye
Motorcycle Racing: Mid Antrim 150
Venue: Clough
Date: 2nd April 2016
Race: 125
Caption: Gary Dunlop
Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/PressEye Motorcycle Racing: Mid Antrim 150 Venue: Clough Date: 2nd April 2016 Race: 125 Caption: Gary Dunlop

Gary Dunlop thanked his cousin William after making a promising road racing debut at the JMF Haulage Mid Antrim 150.

Dunlop, son of road racing legend Joey, admitted the weather on Friday had him thinking twice.

But the Ballymoney man, who finished a creditable fifth in the 125GP/Moto3 class, wasn’t going to let anyone down.

“If I’m honest, the way the weather was on Friday before qualifying I could have walked away, but I didn’t want to let the club down as they’ve been very good to me,” Dunlop said on Sunday.

“William and Sam looked after me. I was calm enough during qualifying but was very nervous on race day and along with Alistair Russell, who works with the TAS Racing boys in BSB and William on the roads, they settled me down.

“When you come from riding purely short circuits, the roads can be an initial shock but it’s the little things that you don’t expect to deal with and that’s where William’s advice was so important.

“It might sound silly but the bike lifting over jumps was strange; I wasn’t used to that as I’ve never ridden motocross either. The other thing was braking over white lines, which again you don’t have on the short circuits. I’ll be honest, that was a bit intimidating.

“I rode well but I was disappointed as I think I could have finished third.

“As I said to Ryan Farquhar afterwards, I didn’t want to take any risks and make any silly passes, but that will come with confidence.”

Dunlop confirmed his next outing will be at Cookstwon and not Tandragee.

“I’ve been asked that question so many times over the course of the weekend but no, my next outing will be the Cookstown 100,” he said.

“I have Derek McGhee riding for me at Tandragee on the Joey’s Bar MCC 125cc Honda alongside Sam Wilson and he’s like a kid at Christmas - he can’t wait to get on the two-stroke.”