CLUB racing’s nice guy James Dunne is switching paddocks once again as he makes his Thundersport GB return in 2018.
After his ill-fated move to the Ducati Tri-Options Cup last year, the London-based rider is heading back to the club scene to tackle the competitive GP1 series.
Aboard a Kawasaki ZX-10, Dunne is hoping to get his racing back on track and will join Thundersport’s flagship series when the new season kicks-off in March.
The move comes after a few months of decision-making for Dunne, who had been considering a move to the roads, as well as a season in the No Limits Endurance series.
“Since I quit the Ducati series I’ve been looking at so many different things,” he told UK Clubsport. “I had been looking at getting an Aprilia RSV4 and running in the No Limits series, and I also took a serious look at doing the roads.
“Eventually, thanks to help from my sponsors and in particular Keith Smith from Truland Construction and Civil Engineering, I’ve been able to get the Kawasaki and after speaking to Dave Stewart, I decided that Thundersport was where I wanted to be.
“I explained I wasn’t sure where to go next, and he pretty much told me to stop being soft and to commit to something solid for the year – so I have. I’ll be doing the full season and I’m hoping for some good, strong results.”
Dunne has already had his first test on his new machine, as he flew to Almeria last month to get a few days on track.
“It was a really good test, there were some fast riders there and I managed to beat my previous lap time by about seven seconds which I was happy about.
“It’s put me in a good place for the season ahead knowing I’m going faster than I ever have, and I plan to keep building on this and getting as much testing in as I can before it begins.
“At the moment, it’s hard to say how I think I’ll fare out there. I don’t know who’s going to be racing in the championship, we won’t know until that first weekend at Donington, so I’ve just got to be ready.
“I want to be confident that I’ve done enough to prepare, the bike is good enough, it’s just whether or not I’m good enough to do it justice.”
After his dabble on the national scene last year, he also admits he is excited about coming back to the clubs.
“I did miss the club scene last year. BSB isn’t the same, it’s not just the lack of track time, it’s not as friendly. I missed the club racing attitude and the support, and I’m looking forward to being part of that again.
“I know I’m entering a hard series and there will be a bit of pressure there, but I can’t wait. Thundersport is a fantastic organisation and I’m looking for to getting back among the club racing scene’s fastest big bike riders to see what I can do.”
*Images: Supplied by James Dunne