Why Josh Warrington would feel right at home facing Carl Frampton in a world title fight in Belfast
PROUD sons Michael and William Dunlop served up a fitting tribute to their legend dad, Robert (top, right), on the 10th anniversary of his tragic death following a practice accident during the 2008 North West 200.
His boys were in blistering form during yesterday’s opening qualifying session for this year’s north coast event and it could have been no coincidence, given the significance of the date.
Michael, looking bike fit and physically fit, totally focused and determined, set the fastest time in the opening Supersport class, lapping at 112.757mph, a mere 0.087 seconds ahead of elder brother William (bottom, right).
Michael then set a speed of 115.577mph at the top of the Superbike session on the Tyco BMW, before Lee Johnston went faster at 116.701mph on his Honda Fireblade with William in seventh.
In Superstock, Michael was fourth fastest on his own BMW while Alastair Seeley topped the session on his Tyco BMW.
The Dunlop performances brought back memories of 2008 and the 250cc race that Michael won, 48 hours after his father’s fatal accident — one of the most emotional races ever witnessed at the Triangle with fans reduced to tears at the bravery of the then 19-year-old.
Michael dedicated that race win to his father’s memory but yesterday he kept his thoughts to himself, declining all requests for media interviews. IRELAND will probably have to wait until early next year before playing their second Test match but, after their debut performance on the biggest stage, they will have nothing to fear.
Opponents have yet to be announced for Ireland’s next foray into the Test arena but a return match in Pakistan — if safe to do so — is unlikely to take place in the next 18 months because of their packed fixture schedule.
However, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said he would welcome Ireland any time, and was impressed by their performance over the last four days, before the tourists finally came out on top by five wickets.
Ireland’s first Test centurion, Kevin O’Brien, was dismissed on his first ball of the final day yesterday and with Ireland bowled out for 339, Pakistan needed only 160 to win.
Proud Ireland skipper William Porterfield said the players were disappointed not to win.
“Close to 200 would have made it a very interesting game. They came out and played positively”, he said.
FULL REPORT: Page 48
Speed king: Michael Dunlop in North West action yesterday