Joey’s Bar MCC team put plans in place for 2017

Gary Dunlop pictured at the Ulster Grand Prix last year at Joey's.
Gary Dunlop pictured at the Ulster Grand Prix last year at Joey's.

The Joey’s Bar MCC Racing team has put its plans in place for another season of Irish road racing in 2017, with Sam Wilson and Derek McGee continuing in the 125/Moto3 class for a second season.

However, Gary Dunlop – who made his debut between the hedges in 2016 – is undecided over whether or not he will take his place on the grid this season.

The 33-year-old had his hands full preparing the team’s machines last year in addition to concentrating on his own racing schedule.

Dunlop has already been promised the use of his cousin William Dunlop’s 125cc Honda once more if he decides to lace up his boots again, but for now the Ballymoney man is focused solely on running Mullingar man McGee and Cullybackey rider Wilson, who will make his debut on a Moto3 Honda.

“Derek and Sam will ride for us again this season and Derek will be riding the 125 Honda again, but Sam will be riding a Moto3 Honda. The Moto3 bike isn’t ours but we’ve been given it to run under our colours all year,” said Dunlop.

“But as for me, I haven’t really decided anything yet.

There’s so much hard work involved and I don’t think anyone realises how difficult it is. I look after those bikes myself and it can be pretty stressful, but it’s good fun too.

“I’d love to get back out again if I could and William [Dunlop] has given us his support and said his bike is there for me any time I want it. I can leave my decision until the very last moment if I need to,” he added.

“At the moment, Sam and Derek are the priority for me.”

Dunlop highlighted Tandragee and the Ulster Grand Prix as the standout events of his rookie season.

“I ended up doing every single Irish road race, even the Southern 100 and Scarborough. I absolutely loved it and to be honest I had no idea I would ride anywhere near as hard as I did,” he said.

“The Ulster Grand Prix and Tandragee really stood out for me. To be fair, I enjoyed them all really, even Cookstown, which I didn’t think I would like.

“Armoy was pretty good as well and I wouldn’t say there was a bad track really.”

The team is on the lookout for a 600cc Supersport machine for Wilson and anyone who may be able to help out is asked to get in touch.