Heartbreak as motorcycle ace William Dunlop killed at Skerries 100

William Dunlop racing during practice at Skerries on Saturday

William Dunlop racing during practice at Skerries on Saturday

Well known motorcyclist William Dunlop has been killed while practising for the Skerries 100 road races.

Originally announcing that he was withdrawing to recover from injuries sustained at the North West 200 just weeks prior, he later revealed he left the island to be with his partner during a period of uncertainty over the health of their unborn child.

On Sunday the Skerries 100 race went ahead after the Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club said they had received the blessing of Dunlop's family.

The Ballymoney native, 32, crashed near Sam's Tunnel on his third lap shortly after 5pm on Saturday evening.

William was a member of the the renowned Dunlop family and was a victor at the North West 200 and Ulster GP.

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In a statement, competition oragnisers Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club confirmed Dunlop had passed away from the injuries he recived in the tragic accident.

"It is devastating news that William has also lost his life so tragically and my thoughts and prayers and those of the people of this Council area, are with the Dunlop family at this very hard and sad time".

Meanwhile William's uncle Joey - an icon of the sport who won a record 26 races at the Isle of Man TT meeting - died in 2000 aged 48 during a race in Tallinn, Estonia.

William's younger brother Michael scored his 18 TT success at this year's event, moving him into third on the all-time winners list behind only 23-time victor John McGuinness and Dunlop's legendary uncle. Derry's North West 200.

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