N.W 200 Claims the 'Mighty Atom'
This is a real tragedy. The Dunlop family loses another member to the sport they epitomize.
Ironically enough I was watching coverage of the 2005 I.o.M event and they interviewed Robert Dunlop who said that he wouldn't be going back too many more times and was considering giving up road racing as he felt he was getting to an age where he should put his family first
Viewpoint: Another Dunlop tragedy
Robert Dunlop: A widow's heartache
Friday, May 16, 2008
It has happened again. Not just that road racing has claimed another life. But it has claimed the life of another Dunlop.
The death of Robert during practice for the North West 200 is a bitter blow in many, many ways.
An immense tragedy, of course, for his immediate family, now left to mourn for the husband and father who will never walk in through the front door again.
A grievous blow to the wider Dunlop circle, reeling from the second motorcycle death in eight years.
And a blow, too, for Ballymoney, for north Antrim and indeed for Northern Ireland, all of which have lost an iconic figure with the demise of the 'Mighty Atom'.
Indeed, the death of Robert Dunlop will be felt today anywhere that road racing folk meet to chat and swap stories, in Ireland or anywhere in the world.
A cloud of grief will hang over this year's North West 200. Robert Dunlop, in recent years something of a poster boy for the event, is gone.
The organisers will feel the pain, and have endured the dilemma of whether or not to cancel racing. They have made the right decision to continue.
It now beholds us all to find an appropriate way to celebrate the life of this remarkable sportsman.
Tributes paid to bike star Dunlop
Dunlop was a hugely popular figure in the motorcyling world
Former TT and North West 200 star Phillip McCallen has described the late Robert Dunlop as a "motorcycling icon".
Dunlop died on Thursday after suffering severe chest injuries in a crash during a practice session at the North West 200 road races in Northern Ireland.
McCallen, who retired in 1999, said Dunlop was a tough competitor who could not stay away from the sport.
"Racing and motorcycles are in the Dunlop blood and Robert could not give it up," said the 11-times TT winner.
"He did try to retire but he got a real buzz from riding motorcycles. It is difficult to describe the feeling - you need to have done it yourself."
Liam Beckett, who had been Dunlop's mechanic for more than 20 years, said: "I am just numb. People will be waking up to the news that Ballymoney has lost another of its favourites sons.
"It is a dagger in the heart for us all."
Mervyn Whyte, clerk of the course for the North West 200, told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It's a major loss to the sport.
"Robert was a major help to me at the NW200 over the years.
"With just a phone call he would be with me in a fairly short space of time to help me with any safety issues, to give me advice and to look at what my plans were for the event itself.
"He was always a great inspiration.
He had a great sense of humour and he was always very proud to be associated with the event over the years.
"He was a great ambassador for the sport in this country and further circles as well. It's a major tragedy for sport in this country."
“It’s really hard to take an angry man seriously when he’s wearing a bathrobe.” - Carl Fogarty
Last edited by Yamahuh; 05-16-2008 at 11:29 PM.
Reason: Automerged Doublepost