Isle of Man TT: William Dunlop withdraws 'for personal reasons'

William Dunlop in action during qualifying for this year's TT
William Dunlop in action during qualifying for this year's TT

William Dunlop has withdrawn from the remainder of this year's Isle of Man TT "for personal reasons", his Temple Golf Club Yamaha team have announced.

Dunlop suffered heavy bruising in a crash at the North West 200 earlier this month but took part in the first two practice sessions for the TT.

The 32-year-old made the decision to quit the meeting after holding discussions with team boss Tim Martin.

"This is a very difficult decision, not one I have taken lightly," said Dunlop.

The four-time North West winner sustained heavy bruising to his back and other injuries following a crash during a Thursday night Superstock race at the Triangle circuit and was unable to take part in the Saturday racing.

Dunlop, 32, highsided from his Yamaha R1 at Church Corner but a subsequent medical examination showed that he did not break any bones in the fall.

"I can only apologise to the team and all of our sponsors but I believe that continuing would be the wrong decision and I would not give a true account of either myself or the team," explained Dunlop.

"I would like to thank Tim especially for how understanding and supportive he has been over the past few weeks, I obviously feel like I have let him and the team down but they have stood by me throughout.

"I am going to head home and take some time to recuperate before making a decision on when I will be back on the Temple Yamahas."

Yamaha team 'extremely disappointed'

Martin commented: "Obviously this is extremely disappointing for us as a team and for me personally as I have been looking forward to working with William at the TT for some time.

"There is no race in the world however where having 100% focus and commitment is more important so it is the correct decision in the end for William.

"Hopefully after a few weeks off he will come back stronger, we all know what a natural talent he is so having a fit and well William back to fight for wins at the Ulster Grand Prix is now our focus."

The Ballymoney man, who also sat out last year's Ulster Grand Prix racing after being injured in a domestic accident, has had an indifferent start to the season and has struggled to get to grips with the new Yamaha R6.

He had however been making positive noises about the progress he was making in the set-up of his Yamaha R1 Superbike and lapped at over 125mph in Monday night's opening Superbike practice session on the Isle of Man.