William Dunlop has joined the line-up for next weekend’s 58th Around-A-Pound Tandragee 100 as a late entry on the Temple Golf Club Yamaha machines.
Dunlop, who will kick-start his 2018 road racing campaign today as practice gets underway for the Cookstown 100 in Co Tyrone, had initially been considering competing in the Bennetts British Superbike round at Oulton Park, which clashes with Tandragee (May 4-5).
However, the Ballymoney man has confirmed he will skip the BSB meeting to compete in the second Irish national road race of the season, which takes place just over a week before practice commences for the North West 200.
Dunlop told the News Letter: “I missed the BSB test at Oulton today so we’re already too far behind as it is and we’ve decided to go to Tandragee instead.
“We’ve been running Pirelli tyres at the BSB meetings and when we fitted the Dunlops at Bishopscourt, the bike was off quite a bit in terms of our set-up.
“It’ll better for us to do Tandragee with the Dunlop tyres and work on our set-up using the same tyres we’ll be running at the North West and TT,” added Dunlop, who will compete in the Superbike and Supersport races.
“Hopefully we’ll get some dry weather and although the smaller national races aren’t really relevant when it comes to the North West or TT, it gives you a bit of an idea of where you’re at.”
Dunlop finished as the runner-up in the Open Superbike race on the Yamaha R1 at Tandragee last year behind southern Irishman Derek Sheils, who is also entered for the event.