Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Dunlop’s stuff of Legends

Michael Dunlop (left) joins new Honda Legends team-mates John McGuinness, Michael Rutter and Simon Andrews

Michael Dunlop’s signature on official Honda paper, opening the door for him to join the coveted Honda TT Legends squad, could finally end almost a decade of drought for local riders in the Isle of Man TT’s Superbike class.

Dunlop will join real TT legend, and current master of the Mountain Course, John McGuinness, at next year’s International North West 200 and Isle of Man TT with Michael Rutter the anchor man in team boss Neil Tuxworth’s high profile road racing line-up, which was announced yesterday at the Motorcycle Live show in Birmingham.

This deal will see Dunlop run Honda machinery in all classes, although the Supersport and Superstock machinery will be run under Michael Dunlop Racing and supported by his longstanding right hand man, Gary Ryan and other loyal sponsors.

On his new role, racing alongside 19-time TT winner McGuinness, Dunlop said: “This is a big opportunity for me with Honda and it really is an honour to be riding for them.

“People have asked what it’s going to be like riding with John, but when I get on the bike I don’t worry about anybody, but we do get on well.”

Dunlop has won Supersport and Superstock TT races in his short career to date, but the last Ulsterman to win a Superbike TT on Mona’s Isle was fellow Ballymoney racer Adrian Archibald back in 2004, taking his second Senior win in successive years.

This latest devleopment with Michael now on factory-supported Honda machinery and his brother William on factory-supported Milwaukee Yamaha bikes, is a mouth watering prospect for bike fans in Ireland next season.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk