William Dunlop has died after a crash during practice for the Skerries 100 in County Dublin.
The 32-year-old rider from Ballymoney, County Antrim, was a member of the Dunlop dynasty of racing greats and a repeat winner of the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix.
Dunlop enjoyed a distinguished career on Ireland’s national road racing scene, accumulating some 108 wins, including four victories at the North West 200 and seven at the Ulster Grand Prix since beginning his career in 2000.
A statement released by the the Skerries 100 organisers, said they “deeply regret” to announce he “passed away following injuries received in a tragic accident”.
“The Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club extends their heartfelt sympathy to William Dunlop’s family and friends,” the statement added. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time.”
Following lengthy discussions with the family, their sponsors and few riders, the club has taken the decision to continue the Skerries 100 races, with he entire prize fund going William’s family.
It will be a non-champiuonship meeting which the club hopes everyone will consider a fitting tribute to William and his previous race performance and results at the Skerries 100.
Tragedy has struck the Dunlop family before; his father Robert died as a result of an accident at the North West 200 in 2008 and his uncle Joey was killed racing in Estonia in 2000.