2014 Isle of Man TTIn November, the man who won four solo races at 2013 Isle of Man TT – Michael Dunlop – reported he was not competing at the 2014 IOM TT.
His reasons? Various complications attached to each contract, likely from the manufacturer which Dunlop took the four 2013 TT races on – Honda.But this all changed Wednesday when the nephew of the late TT legend Joey Dunlop announced he will compete in 2014 with BMW.The 24-year-old Dunlop, a seven-time TT winner, has signed with BMW Motorrad UK and Hawk Racing, which also operates the Buildbase BMW Motorrad British Superbike team. The outfit will have the the support of BMW Motorrad Motorsport.With the Northern Irishman at the controls of the BMW S 1000 RR, the team is looking to emulate the “great BMW victory of Georg Meier at the Senior TT exactly 75 years ago.” That year – 1939 – Meier secured BMW’s first and only TT win aboard a boxer-powered 500cc Rs 255 Kompressor. Meire also became the first ever foreign winner of the Senior TT race; his teammate, Jock West, finished second.The team will field a Superstock BMW in Dunlop Racing livery and a Superbike BMW S 1000 RR in BMW Motorsport livery. Besides the famed Isle of Man TT, Dunlop will also compete in other international road races in 2014.“I’m really pleased to have signed for such a strong and competitive team. The BMW S 1000 RR certainly has the speed for the TT and, with my experience, the support from BMW Motorrad Motorsport and Hawk Racing, I know we have a race-winning package,” Dunlop says.“I really thought about sitting out this year, but I have found a team that I am really comfortable with and the support from BMW Motorrad Motorsport will make us a force to be reckoned with this year.”The BMW / Hawk Racing team will be jointly managed by BMW Motorrad UK and Stuart Hicken, fresh from the Buildbase BMW Motorrad team’s best ever performance in the 2013 British Superbike Championship. Building on their strong relationship and experience with BMW, the team has secured BMW Motorrad Motorsport support for the 2014 road racing program, BMW reports.“We are extremely pleased to have assembled such an experienced racing team,” says Stuart Hicken, BMW / Hawk Racing Team Principal. “We have been working on it for a while and I genuinely believe that with Michael, the technical expertise from BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the BMW S 1000 RR, we have secured all the elements we need to be at the sharp end, challenging for a great result at the TT.”“We are so pleased to have secured Michael Dunlop to ride for BMW / Hawk Racing. His record speaks for itself and we are confident that, on a BMW S 1000 RR, he can dominate on the roads this season,” says Lee Nicholls, BMW Motorrad Marketing Manager.“Creating a team that will focus all its efforts on Michael will present BMW with a realistic chance of replicating our famous victory 75 years ago at the TT.”In 2013, Dunlop won four solo race-wins (Superbike TT, Supersport TT, Superstock TT, Supersport TT 2), and also the Classic TT Formula 1 win.Dunlop completed the solo feats aboard Honda machinery for the Honda TT Legends team, which also includes 20-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness, and Dunlop’s own MD Racing outfit. In the Classic TT Formula 1 race, Dunlop piloted a Suzuki XR69 with teammate Conor Cummins.To keep up to date with the latest news from the team, follow @BMWMotorradTT on Twitter.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.