Team Suzuki Press Office – April 28.

Tyco Suzuki’s William Dunlop took the chequered flag in the Feature Superbike Race at the weekend’s KDM Hire Cookstown 100 Road Race in Northern Ireland only to discover he had been beaten on corrected time by just three-10ths-of-a-second by Manxman Dan Kneen, who started behind him in the second group of riders.

Despite the disappointment of losing-out to an antiquated timing system, Dunlop made a solid national road racing debut with Tyco Suzuki, taking third place in the Open class aboard his GSX-R1000 Superbike, boosted by a Supersport podium in Friday night’s invitation race on his Metzeler-shod GSX-R600.

William Dunlop:

“I’m obviously disappointed to lose-out on a race win that I felt I had well covered. When you take the chequered flag you expect to be the race winner, but I’m not a bad loser and rules are rules whether you agree with them or not. We started the weekend off well with podiums on the GSX-R600 and GSX-R1000 Superbike. The boys have worked really hard this past few weeks to help me feel comfortable in the team and on all machinery with the various set-ups, so I was gutted not to be able to give them the Cookstown 100 Feature Superbike Race win. Taking the positives, it does set-us-up-well for the North West 200 and I think this weekend we have proved that we can be competitive and have plenty to look forward to.”

Philip Neill – Team Manager:

“As always it was good that we could support our local Cookstown 100 Road Race. After a wet morning the weather was very kind to the organisers and a good crowd turned out to support the opening road race of the year.

“It was our first time to get a look at William and see how he has settled into the Tyco Suzuki team, and how he would gel with our GSX-R machinery and Metzeler tyre combination in a racing situation. The goal for the weekend was to try out some different options for William and he made great progress throughout the day and was gaining confidence with each race.

“Two podiums in both the opening Supersport and Superbike races was a great start and in all fairness he won the Feature Superbike Race on track. Unfortunately we have a strange system in Ireland, with a rider in the second group being afforded the opportunity to win on corrected time.

“William was unaware that he was battling with Dan in the second group, and once at the front of the field with a comfortable gap, he slowed to keep things safe, only to find he’d lost the race by three-tenths of a second.
“Having said that we are pleased to see John Burrows’ Racing and their new rider Dan Kneen have a successful day as they ride an ex-TAS Racing GSX-R1000 and we provide support for them when and where we can.

“Overall we are very pleased with William’s performance this weekend but it is a real shame he had to be denied his first ever Superbike victory for us by an out-dated racing system that surely has no place in modern racing.”

Image courtesy of James McCann.

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