WATCH | Scary moment Michael Dunlop’s Dunlop goes pop at high-speed on NW200

Michael Dunlop is lucky to avoid a huge high-speed accident on the North West 200 as one of the riders to suffer from a fundamental flaw in Dunlop rear tyre

Michael Dunlop - Hawk Racing Suzuki [credit: NW200 Pacemaker Balfast]


Amateur footage showing the moment Michael Dunlop’s rear tyre explodes at high-speed while competing in the North West 200 has emerged, the TT legend extremely lucky not to suffer a huge accident.

The first NW200 since 2019 concluded clouded in controversy after a fundamental design fault on rear tyres supplied by Dunlop surfaced during the first Superbike race.

With several riders reporting problems, Peter Hickman on the FHO BMW M 1000 RR and Dunlop on the Hawk Suzuki were among those to suffer frightening failures around the high-speed Northern Ireland street circuit.

Though some riders escaped issues - including Davey Todd, who finished second behind Glenn Irwin in Race 1 - the decision was taken by Dunlop to withdraw its tyres and by extension all teams running Dunlop material from the event for Race 2.

Beyond Hickman, Todd and Dunlop, it meant the likes of Conor Cummins, Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston were among those forced to call it a day earlier.

Following the event, the extent of the problem has become clearer as amateur fan footage captured the moment Dunlop suffered a high-speed tyre failure on the Coast Road, which shows him wrestling his Suzuki GSX-R1000R as it swings out sideways before bringing it under control.

With the blue riband - and considerably more demanding - Isle of Man TT just two weeks away now, Dunlop faces a race against time to both find a solution and inspire confidence in the many riders and teams it supplies.

However, it has been given a show of support from TT favourite Hickman, who says he is sure safety will be guaranteed by the time they arrive on the Manx island.

Despite the obvious tyre malfunction that I had at 197mph in Saturdays first SBK race, I have 100% faith in Dunlop and their brand. 

“I have been racing on their products for many years, of course something has gone wrong somewhere, but they will rectify it.

“I’m just thankful that myself and the other riders all walked away completely unscathed.”