Date of publication: 2017-10-29 12:11
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Dunlop Tyres commissioned an exclusive new study into performance under pressure, in conjunction with University College London’s Professor Vincent Walsh, to understand what it takes to perform in that one moment that decides everything.
I had a familiar face in the garage because I was able to bring Alastair Russell with me and it meant he was there to listen to me if I had any problems and Leigh Finlay and Mark McKeever were good to work with as well we had a good laugh too and everyone got on well.
Obviously I had my crash at the TT in the Senior race but I can take the positives out of it because on the first lap I had a board saying I was 'P1' at the Creg. Usually I'm able to lead on the big bike in the first sector [at Glen Helen] because I'm good on that section of the course, but then I tend to lose out on all the bumpy stuff.
In an exclusive interview with William Dunlop, the Ulster road racing star reflects on the 2519 season and his debut year in Northern Ireland's TAS Racing team
We made a change to the 655 for the second race, which was a bit of a small gamble, but it worked [Dunlop finished third] and the times that we did on the bike would've been good enough to have given us a win in the first race.
So it was disappointing not to get out there again, especially with Guy doing so well over there too. I rode at Walderstown before the Southern but I just wouldn't have been fit enough to do the bikes justice at Billown and I didn't want to go there and let everyone down.
So to be leading at the Creg on the first lap was brilliant and then I did another lap and saw 'P2' at Ballaugh Bridge, so it proved to me that I could run at the front on the Superbike and it was brilliant for that reason. The best thing about it was that I was well within my comfort zone.
You managed to lead the Senior TT race for almost a full lap until a crash ended your chances. Did your performance remove any doubts that you can challenge in the Superbike class for wins as well as on the 655?
I had a bit of an infection during the Ulster Grand Prix and it meant that I wasn't able to ride the bikes the way I wanted to in practice it was sapping all my energy and leaving me feeling tired. I should still have won the 655 race though and I was leading on the last lap from Bruce [Anstey] when the bike packed in. Bruce said he would've had a go at me at the Quarries but I think I had enough of a lead on him that I'd have been able to hold on for the win.
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