Michael Dunlop to kick off campaign with a return to Cookstown 100
Michael Dunlop will make his first road race appearance of the season at the 96th KDM Cookstown 100 on April 27-28, the 15-time TT winner set for his debut on the Tyco BMW Superbike in the Open and feature races.
He will also make his debut on his own MD Racing PTR Honda in the Supersport race.
The current 2.1-mile Orritor Circuit outright lap record holder is a welcome addition to the impressive line-up of competitors, which includes his elder brother William, triple 2017 Irish road race champion Derek McGee and Cookstown BE riders Derek Sheils and Davy Todd.
A nine-time winner at the Cookstown venue, Dunlop's last appearance was in 2015 when he retired in the Supersport race, finished second in the Open riding a Yamaha R1 and crashed out of the main race having just taken the lead from Guy Martin.
Roads close on Friday, April 27 at 12pm for practice and on Saturday, April 28 at 10am ahead of a 19-race programme scheduled to commence from 10.30am.
Meanwhile, a contingent of motocross riders crossed the Irish Sea for the opening MX Nationals at Preston Docks where Richard Bird, current leader of the Ulster MX1 Championship, finished second overall in the Experts MX1 with two seconds and a seventh-place finish.
Loughbrickland's Jason Meara topped the MX2 Experts class with two wins and a third, with Callum Meara fourth overall in the 250F MXY2 class.
In the 85cc Big Wheel class, Dundonald's Ryan Mawhinney was second overall after taking a win and two second places.