His father, Craig Dunlop, was a long-time leading rider at national level and a New Zealand junior motocross champion in the 1980s, and his son Jack is now heading down the same path. "I'm hoping everything will unfold for him the way it did for me too," said Craig. "Hopefully he'll keep going. He has a good attitude and doesn't whinge or complain." Jack Dunlop, a year 10 pupil at Hamilton Boys' High School, finished fourth overall in the 12-14 years' 125cc class at the New Zealand Junior Motocross Championships in New Plymouth in April. Dunlop then finished runner-up to Matamata's Brodie Connolly in the 12-14 years' 125cc class at the annual MX Fest event in Taupo over Labour Weekend.
He then finished runner-up again – this time behind Belgian visitor Liam Everts, the son of legendary 10-time world champion Stefan Everts – in the 12-14 years' 125cc class at the recent Waikato Motocross Championships at Te Kuiti and then Dunlop followed that up by winning the 12-15 years' 125/250 class at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Motocross Championships in Tokoroa a week later. "I have never had any formal training," Dunlop explained. "Dad supports and mentors me with my riding and is teaching me old school ethics, including being persistent, consistent and to tough it out and pick myself up if things don’t go well. "I have had many achievements so far that I am proud of and these have all been achieved on a stock standard bike," he said.
Words and photo by Andy McGechan