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Michael Dunlop back in British Superbike action after shock news of collapse of North West 200 deal



Michael Dunlop. Credit: Stephen Davison

Michael Dunlop. Credit: Stephen Davison

Michael Dunlop. Credit: Stephen Davison

Michael Dunlop is in action this weekend at round two of the British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park.

The Ballymoney man intends to compete in the Supersport and Superstock classes on his MD Racing machinery.

Dunlop made the shock announcement last weekend that his deal to ride the PBM Ducati at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT was off. The 19-time TT winner is now seeking alternative machinery for the Superbike races on the roads.

Fellow Northern Ireland rider Glenn Irwin leads the BSB standings after the Honda Racing rider secured his maiden treble in the series at the opening round at Silverstone two weeks ago.

Irwin holds an advantage of 29 points at the top over Rich Energy OMG Yamaha’s Kyle Ryde going into the Bank Holiday meeting.

Irwin said: “It’s nice to go into a round as the Championship leader, it’s something we experienced a lot in 2020 so it’s good to get that feeling back.

“I enjoy riding at Oulton Park, it’s a track I’ve had some success at in the past, so I think sometimes we can be misleading when we say we struggle there — it’s just that our rivals have been strong there in the past.

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“My target for the weekend is three top-seven finishes and I would be content with that, but I think we can fight for a podium.

“If we leave Oulton with a trophy, that’s a huge bonus, along with the podium credits, it’s three races with 75 points up for grabs and it would be nice to leave as Championship leader.”

Reigning champion Tarran Mackenzie hopes to return this weekend on the McAMS Yamaha after he was forced to miss Silverstone through injury.

The Scot broke his ankle during a pre-season test at Silverstone and will undergo a medical assessment prior to free practice.

“After I had the cast off, I’ve got a bit more movement than we had expected,” Mackenzie said.

“Oulton is a physically demanding track, but if I’m passed fit I will go out in practice and see how I’m feeling from there.”

Free practice takes place today with the first BSB race tomorrow at 4pm. Monday’s feature races are scheduled for 1.30pm and 4.30pm.

Meanwhile, Ballymoney’s Eunan McGlinchey has split from the Gearlink Kawasaki team in the British Supersport Championship. The 24-year-old says he is now weighing up his options for the remainder of the season.

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