William Dunlop inquest hear of ‘motorbike malfunction’

William Dunlop was killed in a crash during practice for the Skerries road race in 2018

William Dunlop

A forensic report investigating the crash that claimed the life of road racer William Dunlop has concluded that a malfunction of the Yamaha R1 could have caused the crash.

Dunlop was killed during practice for the Skerries road race in 2018, it was widely reported at the time that he hit a bump in the track, ripping part of the engine’s sump open. It is thought that this caused oil to spill onto the rear tyre of his Mar-Train-prepared machine, causing the Ballymoney riders to lose control and hit a track-side ditch.

While the inquest is claiming the crash was down to a ‘malfunction’ of the motorcycle, lawyers for Mar-Train are claiming a more accurate description would be that there was ‘damage sustained’ to the machine.

Mar-Train and its counsel, Damien Crawford BL, have asked that the report from a motorsport engineer be considered in the inquest. It is hoped that the view of the expert can add an extra layer of insight to the inquest. The inclusion of the findings of the engineer into the report are not guaranteed though, as Dunlop’s widow, Janine Brolly, and her solicitor, Paul Meagher, would need to consider the report before allowing it to be included.

Other people due to be called in the case are a representative from MotoCycling Ireland, the organiser of the event, and the co-owner of Mar-Train Racing.

It’s reported that the full inquest into the death of Mr Dunlop could be heard in early 2023.

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