Belfast Telegraph

Dunlop's TT effort struck by sponsor setback

Milwaukee Power Tools' Commercial Director for the UK and Ireland, Dale McElveen, has rubbished recent speculation, that his company would back Michael Dunlop's proposed Isle of Man TT effort in 2014 on factory-backed BMW machinery this coming June.

Milwaukee controversially withdrew their support from the 2014 Isle of Man TT Races at the weekend.

The global power tools specialists will continue to back Shaun Muir's SMR Racing effort in the British Superbike Championship and also at the North West 200 in May, and the Ulster Grand Prix in August.

But McElveen laughed off any suggestion that Milwaukee would jump onto Michael Dunlop's proposed BMW deal, which has yet to be completed.

"We withdrew our support from SMR Racing's TT effort this year as we felt that Shaun Muir's team, along with riders Ian Hutchinson and Josh Brookes, would be operating at an unfair disadvantage due to the new regulations."

Showing his continued support for the North Yorkshire based team, on behalf of Milwaukee Power Tools, McElveen added: "We remain fully committed to Shaun's team for the entire British Superbike campaign and also at the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix, operating under the Milwaukee Yamaha banner.

"So I totally refute the unsubstantiated claims that we will be backing any other rider or team configuration at the TT. There's absolutely no truth in this fabricated story."

In other news, Quattro Plant Kawasaki's James Hillier has announced that he will compete in all classes at the 2014 Vauxhall International North West 200.

The Ringwood rider will race Kawasaki ZX10s in both the Superbike and Superstock races, a ZX6 in the Supersport races and an ER6 in the Supertwins events for the Bournemouth based squad.

Hillier's best result in his three previous visits to the 8.9-mile Triangle course was a second place finish in last year's Supertwins' race behind race winner Jeremy McWilliams. The 650cc Supertwin races will be the main focus for Hillier, who won the corresponding race at last year's Isle of Man TT in June 2013.

The affable Bournemouth rider, who is quickly becoming one of the hottest new properties in road racing, said: "The Supertwins' races probably offer me my best odds of success at the North West 200 in May. Of course I would like to improve on my position in every class this year, so if I do that in the twins class I'll pick up a win."

Having broken the exclusive 131mph at last year's Isle of Man TT, narrowly missing out on a Senior TT podium, Hillier is being somewhat modest in his 'Twin only claims' for the NW200.

The 28-year-old is well capable of Supersport and Superbike victories and will undoubtedly give 'Mr North West', Alastair Seeley and Co, a run for their money on May 15 & 17.

Looking ahead, Hillier explained: "I like going fast and that is what the North West is all about. There is a lot of grinning inside the helmet. It is very different from any other road race because it is all about speed and braking.

"You need to get a good start and be with the boys at the front at the end of the first lap to have any chance of winning. Then it is all down to who can brake the latest on the last lap. I'm looking forward to it."

Belfast Telegraph

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