Irish road racing superstar William Dunlop has been confirmed dead following a violent crash he suffered at County Dublin on Saturday, July 7. Dunlop was only 32 years old.
The accident happened while Dunlop was riding in Saturday's practice session for the Skerries 100 event, which is contested on a racing course made up of closed public roads similar to those of the Isle of Man TT. According to Motorsport, Dunlop was riding his Yamaha YZF-R1 machine around the 2.9-mile circuit when he crashed at a high-speed portion of the course known as Sam's Tunnel.
The Skerries 100 marked the Irish rider's return to road racing, as he had decided to skip this year's Isle of Man TT—a race he previously had finished on the podium five times—due to family health concerns. Dunlop himself was on a long road to recovery after sustaining serious injuries at the North West 200 road race in May.
“The Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club, organizers of the Skerries 100, deeply regrets to announce that competitor William Dunlop of Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, has passed away following injuries in a tragic accident that occurred during practice which took place today, July 7, 2018," according to the organization. "The Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club extends their heartfelt sympathy to William Dunlop's family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time.”
Dunlop, who enjoyed a whopping 108 victories during his racing career, came from a star-studded lineage of Irish motorcycle riders. His uncle, Joey Dunlop, still holds the record for most Isle of Man TT races at a massive 26, while his dad Robert Dunlop also enjoyed success in two-wheeled racing. Both family members lost their lives in motorcycle racing accidents.