KILLALANE: Gary Dunlop reflects on debut roads triumph

Gary Dunlop on the Joey's Bar Honda Moto3 machine at Killalane on Sunday.
Gary Dunlop on the Joey's Bar Honda Moto3 machine at Killalane on Sunday.

Gary Dunlop celebrated his first road racing victory at the East Coast Racing Festival at Killalane in north county Dublin on Sunday.

The success came in the Moto3/125 GP race, with Dunlop riding the Joey’s Bar Honda Moto3 machine.

Gary Dunlop toasts his maiden road racing victory at the East Coast Racing Festival at Killalane on Sunday.

Gary Dunlop toasts his maiden road racing victory at the East Coast Racing Festival at Killalane on Sunday.

Paul Robinson made a flying start to the racebut the Ballymoney rider was forced out with a machine problem, paving the way for Dunlop to take the lead.

Cheered on by the fans, Dunlop – who made his roads debut last year – went on to secure his maiden win on his debut at Killalane by 10.5 seconds from Nigel Moore, with Melissa Kennedy making it onto the rostrum in third place.

As a result of Robinson’s retirement, Moore was crowned Irish champion with Dunlop finishing second in the points standings.

“It’s a real pity for Paul because it’s not a nice way to lose the championship,” Dunlop said.

“It’s nice to get my first win but it doesn’t really feel like a victory to be honest.

“It’s bad that Paul lost it but if you wanted anybody else to win it, then there’s probably not a man in the country that deserves to win something more than Nigel.

“He’s the nicest man in the paddock and he’s a great rider,” he added.

“Believe it or not Paul’s never won an Irish championship and he’s far too good a rider not to have done it.

“It was my debut at Killalane and on Saturday I wasn’t enjoying it because it was just so slippy, but it was a lot better when it dried up today. In saying that, the wind was still a huge problem but when the track is dry it’s really good.”

Earlier this season, Dunlop clinched his first podium on the weekend of the 17th anniversary of his legendary father Joey’s fatal accident in Estonia in July 2000.

He led the race at the Skerries 100 before finishing as the runner-up behind team-mate Derek McGee.