Michael Dunlop has denied persistent internet rumours that he missed last week’s Bush Irish national road races due to problems within the team and he’ll return to racing this weekend at Skerries.
At the TT Dunlop rode a Uel Duncan/Robinson Concrete Honda superbike and a Hunts Motorcycle Honda in superstock while Gary Ryan of Street Sweep provided his 600 ride as well as managing the team.
But after a great race week, with three podium finishes and becoming the fastest Irishman ever around the Mountain course with a 130.213 mph lap, Dunlop became the subject of persistent rumours after failing to appear at Bush in what should have been a celebratory comeback meeting for the Irish hero on home soil.
But Dunlop told MCN: “The TT is almost three weeks away from home for everyone and we all needed to take a break (from racing), get our heads together and sort a few issues.”
He wouldn’t expand on what those issues were within the close-knit bunch of friends that form his team, but Dunlop added: “Everything is sorted now and we – all the team - will be at Skerries this weekend.”
One issue at the TT was certainly his demeanour. The 21-year old son of road racing legend Robert and nephew of Joey, was devastated when he failed to win a second TT to add to his 2009 Supersport success and his downbeat, not to mention sometimes downright negative attitude in the post-race press conferences, ruffled a few feathers.
“I maybe didn’t handle everything the best way after the races with the media,” he accepted, “but I was totally gutted at not winning.
“I so much wanted to win, especially after that second Supersport race in the week when I broke the lap record on the last lap and was still beaten by Hutchy (Ian Hutchinson).”
The Ballymoney man finished second in that race on Thursday after coming in third in the first Supersport race on Monday and a runner-up spot in the Superbike TT on the opening Saturday of race week.
“Since I came home I’ve had time to think about it all and only now do I realise what I have achieved.
“I’m still only 21 but I’m giving most of the other top boys a lot of years and experience but I did a 128mph lap on a 600 and a few 130mph plus laps from a standing start on the big bike (in the first red-flagged Senior race) even though there’s no factory stuff on our bikes.
“I’m sorry if I upset any of the fans with some of the things that I said at the TT but all the lads are still with me and we’ll be back for another crack at it starting at Skerries this weekend.”