EXCLUSIVE: William Dunlop to ride Mar-Train Yamaha R1 at Tandragee 100

William Dunlop with the Mar-Train Yamaha Superstock machine at the Tandragee 100 on Friday.
William Dunlop with the Mar-Train Yamaha Superstock machine at the Tandragee 100 on Friday.

William Dunlop is set to ride a Yamaha R1 in the Mar-Train colours this weekend at the Around-A-Pound Tandragee 100.

The Lisburn-based team announced its withdrawal from the sport in December last year after 11 years.

However, former team owner Tim Martin has stepped in to provide the 31-year-old with a 1000cc Yamaha for the opening Irish National meeting of the season.

Dunlop has been left on the back foot this year after his deal to ride in the 1000cc class for Halsall Racing faltered. The ex-British Superbike team did purchase BMW machinery for the Ballymoney man, but an issue over parts means he has yet to complete a lap on a Halsall-backed bike.

Dunlop told the News Letter: “I have the offer of riding the bike this weekend but we’re on the back foot now because I haven’t rode a Superbike properly since the Ulster Grand Prix.”

No recent official announcement has been made by Halsall Racing over its intentions for the 2017 international road racing season.

Dunop will line up as the favourite in the Supersport race at Tandragee on his IC Racing/Caffrey Yamaha R6.

Guy Martin will also race at the event for the first time since 2005 as he makes his roads debut on the new Honda Racing Fireblade SP2 Superstock machine.

Practice takes place today from 3pm.