TT 2018: William Dunlop withdraws due to personal reasons

William Dunlop has withdrawn from this year’s Isle of Man TT races due to personal reasons.

An official statement from the Temple Golf Club Yamaha team on Tuesday confirmed the 32-year-old would return home to Northern Ireland after taking part in the first two nights of practice.

William Dunlop on the Temple Golf Club Yamaha at Ballaugh Bridge on Monday evening during TT practice.

William Dunlop on the Temple Golf Club Yamaha at Ballaugh Bridge on Monday evening during TT practice.

Dunlop is set to take some time out from the sport before returning later this year.

The multiple North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix winner said: “This is a very difficult decision and not one I have taken lightly, I can only apologise to the team and all of our sponsors but I believe that continuing would be the wrong decision and would not give a true account of either myself or the team.

“I would like to thank Tim especially for how understanding and supportive he has been over the past few weeks, I obviously feel like I have let him and the team down but they have stood by me throughout.

“I am going to head home and take some time to recuperate before making a decision on when I will be back on the Temple Yamahas.”

Ballymoney man William Dunlop has withdrawn from this year's Isle of Man TT.

Ballymoney man William Dunlop has withdrawn from this year's Isle of Man TT.

Team owner Tim Martin said he respected Dunlop’s decision, although he was obviously disappointed by the development.

“Obviously this is extremely disappointing for us as a team and for me personally as I have been looking forward to working with William at the TT for some time.

“There is no race in the world however where having 100 per-cent focus and commitment is more important so it is the correct decision in the end for William.

“Hopefully after a few weeks off he will come back stronger, we all know what a natural talent he is so having a fit and well William back to fight for wins at the Ulster Grand Prix is now our focus.”