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Dunlop name back on the entry list for Daytona 200



Michael Dunlop

Michael Dunlop

Michael Dunlop

Michael Dunlop has appeared on the entry list for next month's 2021 Daytona 200 when he is set to make his debut riding a Kawasaki ZXR6 636.

The 19-time Isle of Man TT winner, like many others, has seen his racing activities limited due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused the cancellation of the North West 200 and TT for the second year in succession.

The iconic Daytona International Speedway on the 3.51mile infield circuit that includes a section of the infamous Daytona banking will certainly be a new challenge for Dunlop on March 3 as he follows in the wheel tracks of his uncle Joey, a regular Daytona competitor.

Past winners have included icons of the sport like Jarno Saarinen, Giacomo Agostini, Kenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer, Kevin Schwantz and Eddie Lawson.

However, the status of the race has diminished over recent years with safety the overriding factor in the demise of Grand Prix and Superbike machines competing around the Daytona venue losing the world's best riders, as the factories shied away from racing there.

World Superbike contender Chas Davies, when he was competing in the American championship series, became the only British rider to win the '200-miler' in 2008 on a Formula Extreme Kawasaki, after first past the chequered flag Josh Hayes was disqualified for using an alleged illegal crankshaft in his Honda.

From 2005, the event has been restricted to Supersport-based machines and after last year's cancellation the event is back and Dunlop looks set to take his place on the grid alongside Antrim rider Ross Patterson a regular at the Daytona festival.

Returning to defend his '200' title is Kyle Wyman and leading Americans Josh Herrin, Hayes and 18-year-old Brandon Paash, who became the first American to win a British championship in 2019 when he triumphed in the Motostar (Moto3) series.

He returns to the new-look British Supersport championship this year riding for the Simon Buckmaster Triumph team.

In the lockdown periods, Dunlop has been keeping his hand in building Honda Fireblade machines to Superstock specification for sale through his MD Racing preparation business and racing occasionally in British Superstock and Supersport series.

Belfast Telegraph