2007 Lightweight class winner, 2005 Newcomers C race winner, Ballymoney’s Sam Dunlop is next to take part in Road Racing News rising in popularity, Manx GP Top 6 series.
Irish Road Race 125/Moto Champion consecutively from 2013-2014, his answers to the Mountain Course themed set of questions are as follows:
Q1: When you first competed at the Manx, what was your first initial thought of the Mountain Course?
“I thought I knew my way. The newcomers lap was 90 mph and I thought it was pure slow. Then my first real lap I done 90 mph, made mistakes everywhere! But I loved it!”
Q2: Most memorable Manx GP bike?
“Most memorable bike is my own 125 I won the newcomers on in 2005. Ran it standard all week and in the newcomers race. Never missed a beat for the 2 weeks.”
Photo by Barry Clay
Q3: Most treasured memory from the Manx?
“Have a few. Newcomers win in 2005. Doing a Milky in 2006 and winning Lightweight in 2007. Have to say newcomers as I was up against 400’s.
Hadn’t reached 100 mph lap all practice (99.7 last practice) then done it from standing start in the race, averaged 102 I think. Bit emotional in winners enclosure. A friend from Skerries, Denis Martin caught my champagne cork!”
Q4: Is there one specific Manx GP competitor that you look up to?
“Again a few but has to be John Goodall. Caught him one practice session going into Greeba Castle so hung back. I was on the 250.
The man kicked another gear going into Appledene! Open face lid on. Was a pleasure to follow. Learned some nice lines. Was really saddened when he passed.”
Q5: Describe the Manx GP in one word?
Q6: Finally, if you could race one machine from any series, championship around the Mountain Course, what would it be?
“Honda NSR 500! Closest I would get now would be the Suter if Ian (Lougher) would give me a run.”
Words by Stevie Rial