Ballymoney’s William Dunlop says he is fired up to make amends at the Vauxhall North West 200 in May after a ‘nightmare’ week on the North Coast in 2016.
Dunlop, who has unveiled the IC Racing/Caffrey International Yamaha R6 he will ride in the Supersport class this season, was left on the back foot after he was caught out by new rule changes introduced for the 600cc machines last year.
The 31-year-old also found himself without a Superbike machine until practice week at the Isle of Man TT after parting company from CD Racing days before the North West.
Dunlop, though, has put the disappointment behind him and will be in action today at the British championship test at Donington Park before competing in a Thundersport round this weekend as part of his pre-season preparations.
“I’m looking forward to the North West this year because last year was one to forget. We arrived with our 600 and then found out that the rules for the class at the Isle of Man TT had been changed, so all of a sudden we had a bike that wasn’t legal,” he said.
“We had to run old stuff on the bike instead and it was basically just thrown together. The bike was really hard to ride so it’s nice to be going there this year a lot more prepared, now that we know what we can run and what we can’t.
“It was a nightmare to be honest and I was disappointed, so now I just want to get some testing done and get prepared for the North West. I know I won’t be too far away on this bike,” he added.
“I’ve had a couple of bad years but you just have to write it off. I feel good about this year and I’m grateful I have people that have stood by me.”
Dunlop has signed for Halsall Racing this year to compete in the Superbike and Superstock classes.