NW200: William Dunlop’s Keep ’er Lit column

William Dunlop on the MSS Kawasaki at the Tandragee 100.
William Dunlop on the MSS Kawasaki at the Tandragee 100.

I’m running my own team at the North West 200 this week, although I won’t have a Superbike until the TT.

I’ll be riding the MSS Kawasaki Superstock bike this week and I’ve a new 600cc Yamaha for the North West, which I’ll be riding for the first time this year in practice today.

We’ll need to get the R6 dialled in and it’s not ideal because we’re coming up quickly to the first races on Thursday and Saturday and things never work out perfectly – you’ll always have wee issues that need to be ironed out.

It’s much better though having the chance to ride the bike here rather than going straight to the Isle of Man TT with no track time at all.

I’ve struggled a bit with the handling of the Kawasaki Superstock bike this year, so I don’t want to be taking it out in the Superbike races unless I feel I can get a decent result.

In saying that, I don’t think the issues we’ve had will be as bad around here at the North West and the bike will definitely be fast enough in a straight line.

I actually think the bike will suit this course so we’ll have a go and see.

I’m not expecting a lot at the North West this year because we’re starting with a new 600 and I’ve only started my own team in the last few days, so I just want to avoid any silly crashes, do what we can here and then roll on to the TT.

It’s not ideal, but I’m lucky to have a few good sponsors behind me with IC Racing and MMB on board and to be honest we just want to get through the North West and then hopefully we’ll be in a better position come the TT in a couple of weeks.