Michael Dunlop Signs with Milwaukee Yamaha
During the 2013 Isle of Man TT, Michael Dunlop was unstoppable, the Northern Ireland resident winning four out of six solo races. The 25-year old was on Honda CBR machinery that year, but his presence in the 2014 TT was uncertain due to sour contract negotiations. But this changed last February when Dunlop signed with BMW Motorrad UK.
Though on a different brand of motorcycles, Dunlop’s performance was equally as impressive as it was in 2013. Dunlop – the nephew the late Joey Dunlop, the 26-time TT record holder – won four TTs in 2014 aboard BMW S1000RR machinery – the Dainese TT, RL360 Superstock TT, Supersport 2, Senior TT. This earned Dunlop a total of 11-career wins at the Isle of Man TT, which is contested over the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.
He also gave BMW its first TT victory since Georg Meir won the Senior TT in 1939 aboard a boxer-powered 500cc Rs 255 Compressor. Besides this, Dunlop also set a new fastest lap at the TT – a 1:31.890 mph.
But after the 2014 TT campaign, Dunlop was once again left without a ride.
This changed on Thursday when the factory-backed Milwaukee Yamaha of the UK reported it had signed Dunlop for the 2015 Isle of Man TT.
Dunlop, who won his first TT in 2009 aboard a Yamaha YZF-R6 (Supersport TT), will pilot the all-new Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike in the RST Superbike and PokerStars Senior TT races, and also at the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix
The team will be managed by Shaun Muir, who has much success at the TT, including podiums with Guy Martin. The team had also supported Josh Brookes and Ian Hutchinson in the 2014 TT meeting, and Conor Cummins and William Dunlop also rode for the team in 2013. The team had also enjoyed significant success in BSB, notably in winning the 2011 Championship with Tommy Hill.
Dunlop, who made his TT debut in 2007 after winning the 2006 Manx Grand Prix Newcomers Race, has already won Superbike and Senior TT Races on Honda and BMW machines, as well as recording Superstock and Supersport wins on Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha motorcycles.
Speaking of the deal, Michael Dunlop says “I’ve gone on record as saying that I’ll only race if the package is right and in the Milwaukee Yamaha team I’m confident in both the bike and the support team that will be in place.
“We’ve already had a look at the bike that I’ll be riding and the early indications are really good but I’m looking forward just to getting out on the track and testing it properly.”
Milwaukee Yamaha team owner Shaun Muir says “Michael Dunlop has proved himself to be the leading road racer over the last few years and his recent TT record is second to none. We are really confident that the new Yamaha will prove to be more than competitive on the Isle of Man and in Michael we have the rider to deliver its potential.”
Dale McElveen, Commercial Director, Milwaukee UK, also commented: “We are delighted to have Michael onboard. At Milwaukee we have for a while, without doubt, seen Michael as an ideal brand ambassador and to have finally secured his signature has reinvigorated our passion for the roads. This is the third year we will have taken part in the TT Races and this time we will land on the island with a high level of expectation in the hunt for success.”
For a recap of the 2014 TT, visit 2014 Isle of Man TT Recap | Winners and Fatalities.