Michael Dunlop to Compete on Paton S1-R in Lightweight TTThe 2018 Isle of Man TT gets underway in less than two months at the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.Fifteen-time Isle of Man TT winner has topped the headlines for the past few weeks, and more news arrived Tuesday about the 28-year-old Northern Irishman.
Dunlop has signed with the Factory Paton SC-Project Reparto Corse team, and will field an S1-R Paton alongside Stefano Bonetti during the 2018 Isle of Man Lightweight TT.This news arrived after Dunlop announced he would compete aboard a Tyco BMW S 1000 RR in the superbike races, and alongside John McGuinness on MD Racing (Michael Dunlop Racing) prepped Honda CBR600RRs in the Supersport races. Racing the Italian Paton provides Dunlop to win the TT on a sixth different brand.Dunlop has only entered the Lightweight TT on Kawasaki ER6 machinery during the 2012 and 2017 seasons. He finished 13th in 2012, and seventh last season aboard a McAdoo Racing-backed ER6. During the 2017 Lightweight TT, Dunlop lapped at 117.965 mph despite stopping with a technical fault at mid race distance.“It will be a real honor to represent the Paton factory at this year’s TT,” Michael Dunlop said. “I’ve managed to win races for five different manufacturers at the TT and I will be doing everything I can to make it six. I’m really looking forward to having a proper go at the Lightweight TT this year. It’s already looking like a really competitive race with the strongest field the race has had to date and if I’m on the top step at the end of the race I will have earned it.”Speaking about the deal, SC-Project Team owners Stefano Lavazza said: “We are extremely happy that a champion like Michael is joining our Paton SC-Project Reparto Corse Team. Our collaboration with him started last year just with the supply of an SC-Project exhaust for his MD Racing Yamaha R6 he won the Supersport TT with. Michael was satisfied with the product and he wanted to carry on our collaboration this year as well, with the supply of SC-Project exhausts for the S 1000 RR BMW and the CBR600RR Honda he will ride respectively in the Superstock and Supersport races.“His skills are well known to everyone and we are well aware that a rider like Michael has the victory as his solely focus. It is an honour for us and for Paton to have the fastest TT riders ever riding for our Team. We are ready for the challenge of confirming Paton as the bike to beat on the Isle of ManPaton S1-R Lightweight Project Manager Roberto Pattoni added: “To have Michael Dunlop onboard the purely Italian Paton is an honour. Some top riders got in touch with us and this shows how good we have worked in these past few years and that we can make the difference, thanks also to the acquisition by SC-Project. The Bonetti and Dunlop duo will be a key element to improve our S1-R and to confirm Paton as the fastest Lightweight at the Isle of Man TT. We are sure that even Pep (founder of the Paton factory and Roberto’s father) would have appreciated such a hot-blooded and passionate rider like Michael Dunlop. We can’t wait to start.”