On Air Claare ny Gael Bob Carswell | 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Robert Dunlop inquest

TT legend Robert Dunlop died when he inadvertently hit the front brake of his bike when his engine seized at over 150mph, a coroner in Northern Ireland has found today (Thursday).

It happened during a practice session for last year’s North West 200 road race.

The harsh braking hurled Dunlop over the handlebars and a rider he had just overtaken ran over him before himself crashing and suffering severe injuries.

Because of previous injuries, which at first put him out of racing, Dunlop had modified the braking system to the front wheel so it was on the left handlebar, below the clutch lever.

The braking system on his 250cc bike had initially been frowned upon by the motorcycle authorities, the inquest heard.

The 47-year-old, who won five races at the TT, had expressed concerns about his bike possibly seizing after a previous practice two days earlier and had ordered modifications.

The coroner concluded what happened was caused by Dunlop inadvertently applying the brake lever using his left thumb as he was attempting to apply the clutch.

Mr Leckey said the inquest was a particularly sad occasion, recalling as it did the tragic death of one of the most famous sports personalities to come from Northern Ireland, adding Robert was known to everyone, as was his late brother Joey.

Joey Dunlop, the all-time TT record holder with 26 wins on the Mountain Circuit, died while competing in a race in Estonia in July 2000.

More from Isle of Man News