William Dunlop set for a return to Yamaha next year
Ballymoney's William Dunlop looks set for a return to Yamaha machinery in 2016 after an amicable parting of ways with Moneymore-based Tyco BMW, where he won this year's Irish Superbike Championship on the roads.
Dunlop spent two years with Philip Neill's TAS Racing squad, his most notable achievement being a North West 200 Superbike win on a Tyco Suzuki in 2014.
The victory, where he out-gunned his brother Michael, was awarded Race of the Year status at the Irish Motorcycle Awards.
Speaking of his two seasons with TAS Racing, where team manager Neill said the door would be left ajar, Dunlop said: "Philip and all the boys at Tyco BMW were very good to me, so first of all I'd like to thank them for making me feel very welcome. I'd also like to thank BMW Motorrad and Metzeler tyres for their support, which helped me clinch this year's Irish Superbike title."
Team manager Neill said: "William is a great lad and fitted in really well at Tyco BMW this season. His International Road Racing campaign didn't go quite to plan, but he was a great ambassador for Tyco BMW and did win the Irish Superbike title on the roads.
"I have spoken to William at length and we have agreed to go our separate ways for 2016, but the door has certainly not been closed. There's every chance he could return to us in the future and of course everyone at Tyco BMW wishes him well."
William has yet to announce his plans but is set for a full season with Chris Dowd's Yamaha team where a new YZF-R1M Superbike is set to be added to the CD-IC Racing stable.
The 30-year-old Dunlop showed flashes of brilliance at the Isle of Man TT on both Suzuki and BMW machinery for the Tyco-backed squad, but didn't quite get the results he deserved.
His crash at this year's TT extended his wait for a Supersport win on Dowd's CD/IC Racing R6 Yamaha.
Dunlop dominated this year's Irish Road Racing Supersport series, but international honours also eluded him at the Ulster Grand Prix.