RIP William Dunlop

Mr Excitement

Team Owner
Aug 25, 2014
Bay Area,Cali
Incredibly heartbreaking. One of the most stylish and best pure road racers of all time has passed.:( RIP

William Dunlop killed in crash at Skerries 100 road races

William Dunlop was a winner at the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix road races
Northern Ireland motorcycle racer William Dunlop has been killed in an incident at the Skerries 100 road races in County Dublin on Saturday.

Dunlop, 32, was taking part in practice for the event when the crash happened.

The Ballymoney man was a member of the renowned Dunlop family and was a winner at the North West 200 and Ulster GP.

William's father Robert died as a result of an accident at the North West 200 in 2008, while his uncle Joey was killed in a crash in Estonia in 2000.

Joey holds the record for the most Isle of Man TT wins with 26, while William's brother Michael has registered 18 wins at the event over the Mountain Course.

William has also competed regularly on the Isle of Man but sat out this year's races after coming home during practice week to be with his pregnant partner Janine.

Dunlop indicated after the event that there had been concerns about a 20-week scan but that the situation had improved and the couple were looking forward to the arrival of their second child.


William Dunlop in action at the Skerries 100 on his Yamaha R1
A statement released by the Loughshinny Club, the organisers of the Skerries 100, said that they "deeply regretted that William Dunlop has passed away following injuries received in a tragic accident that occurred during practice which took place today, 7 July 2018".

"The Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club extends their heartfelt sympathy to William Dunlop's family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time," the statement continued.

It is understood that 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 2.9-mile circuit on the third lap around 17:00 BST.

Red flags were immediately displayed to halt the session and medics and Gardai attended the scene.

The Loughshinny Club indicated that racing would take place on Sunday, with the entire prize fund donated to William Dunlop's family.

Distinguished road racing career
Dunlop began racing in 2000 and accumulated 108 Irish National Road Race wins during a distinguished career, including 15 at the Skerries circuit which ultimately claimed his life.

The elder of Robert Dunlop's sons rode for many of the leading road racing teams, including Hector and Philip Neill's Tyco-backed TAS Racing team, Shaun Muir's Milwaukee Yamaha outfit, Wilson Craig Racing and most recently Tim Martin's Temple Golf Club Yamaha team.

Beckett 'devastated' by death of William Dunlop
He achieved four wins at the North West 200, including successes in the 125cc and 250cc races in 2009, a Supersport triumph in 2012 and a Superbike victory in 2014.

William won seven races at the Ulster Grand Prix in Dundrod, three in the Supersport class, two on 125cc machines and two in the 250cc class.

His best result at the TT was a second place in TT Zero in 2016, while he also finished third on four separate occasions.
Shaun Lewis Photography
19 hrs ·
This is the hardest race report ever #WilliamDunlop
There are no words tonight, none that will make sense nor things that will make it easier for Janine, for William’s Mum, William’s Granny, for brothers Michael and Daniel or for his beloved daughter Ella, his close friends and the whole family circle.
William was a closed book, William had a very close and trusted circle of friends and William didn’t discuss things nor would ever discuss a bad deal. William was a loyal rider who showed nothing but respect for the team he was riding for. William would give 100% for the team he was signed to but William never achieved his full potential of winning a TT even though he should have, his riding ability was well worthy of winning and his riding style was any photographers dream.
When I moved to Northern Ireland 10 years ago, I had been an army photographer, with a motorbike and a joy of riding. A photographer who had seen and done lots of things most could only dream of, but had also unfortunately experienced death. The death of friends. But all of that is little in respect of what the Dunlop dynasty had achieved and experienced.
Earlier today I was sat at my brother’s house in England, begrudgingly, for the first time in years missing the Skerries road race meeting, but during the bar-b-que constantly checking my phone for updates, the last update I got was the Supersport (600cc) race, William had qualified 6th, no problem, William could sort that one out tomorrow.
A few years ago I was absolutely gobsmacked, ecstatic and humbled to be asked by William to cover his photography and race reports for his web site, I had followed William’s racing for years, and to be asked, well Wow, yeah Wow! But doing William’s race reports weren’t easy, I was to report William’s races but he never opened up fully, he was a closed book, never would he say it was a bad tyre choice nor this nor that, it was always, ‘don’t say that Shaun’. Likewise he would never give praise in case he inadvertently missed someone out. He was the most modest rider I have had the pleasure to know, he was always so busy but would always stop when I was passing and chat, and would always shout across to my boys and say hello as they walked passed but they didn’t want to disturb him.
Getting back from the BBQ today my wife logged onto FaceBook for an update on Skerrie’s qualifying to see many comments from the social media (non racing fans, you know all those arseholes that want to be 1st to break the news, the ones that don’t give a **** about family or friends, but as long as they are amongst the 1st to break the unofficial news). Andi just said it out loud, “Oh No, No”. I hoped it wasn’t as bad as people were making out, but very soon afterwards I was to find out we had lost a great racer, a great person someone I was proud to say, a friend, someone I knew, not well, but I knew, I regularly spoke with, sent messages to and always got replies from him.
William lived for racing, it’s all he knew, it was bred through him, through his uncle, through his dad, and even Michael followed him. In the last couple of years William lived for Janine and his beautiful wee daughter, Ella.
Tonight I raised a glass to William, I’m extremely proud to have known you, extremely proud to have watched you entertain the tens of thousands of race fans around the world and extremely, extremely proud for to have been approached by you to cover your races. Sleep well my friend, thank you for your memories my thoughts are with Janine your mum, your granny, Michael, Daniel, Gary, Sam, Alastair, Barry and the entire family circle and everyone else that had the honour to know you and work with you.
RIP from a heartbroken community. Never forgotten.

William Dunlop – An Appreciation

Today we reflect about William, a gentleman, a great person and a great racer.

First and foremost Road Racing News sends its deepest sympathies to William’s family and friends, at this sad time.


William Dunlop, one of the best.

Over 110 times combined a national/international road race winner, four times a North West 200, seven times an Ulster GP winner and rightly regarded as one of Irish road racing’s greatest ever exponents.

Unbeatable on regular occasions on two stroke machinery, you could always tell when watching William on a 125 or a 250 machine, just how much natural talent he had.


For many though, in the 2010’s, William’s finest performances grew in the ultra competitive Supersport class.

Ulster GP victories, back to back Irish road race championships in 2015 and 2016 plus going the whole national roads 2015 season, unbeaten, are just some of the main highlights within the middleweight class.



Five times a TT podium finisher, three times a Classic TT rostrum finisher, William’s multiple race stints in the Isle of Man have also yielded various race wins, podiums at the Post TT Races and the Southern 100.

Additionally, William is one of a select group of UK racers to have secured a race win at Germany’s most famous roads course, Frohburg.

William Dunlop a true legend, of real road racing.

Forever remembered, RIP William.

Words by Stevie Rial
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