Michael Dunlop on Ducati
Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM) has confirmed 19-times TT winner Michael Dunlop will race one of the team’s VisionTrack Ducatis at the Isle of Man TT Races this year, with the 30-year-old from Ballymoney in County Antrim signing a deal to race a factory-supported VisionTrack Ducati V4 R in both the Superbike and Senior races at this year’s festival.
Dunlop didn’t enjoy the best of TTs in 2019, but despite finishing in the top six in the Superbike, Senior, Superstock and both Supersport events, he did win the Lightweight TT to add to his tally as the third most successful rider around the 37.73-mile course.
He will race his own machines in the Supersport and Superstock events but seven times BSB champions PBM will field the Ulsterman in the two main races as they look to add to their illustrious TT history.
The last time the Penrith-based team contested the Isle of Man TT Races was in 2015 when Ian Hutchinson scored a second in the Superbike TT and a third in the Senior TT as well as winning the Superstock TT race, all aboard PBM Kawasakis, to celebrate the team’s first major foray onto the Isle of Man for 12 years.
That success came after PBM previously contested the event with Ducati in 2003 when John McGuinness took second in the TT Formula 1 race and third in the Senior TT riding the MonsterMob-sponsored bikes.
Prior to that, Joey Dunlop – Michael’s uncle – famously won his last big bike TT for Paul Bird when he took victory in the 2000 TT Formula 1 race onboard a Demon Vimto Honda SP1, just a month before he was tragically killed in a race in Estonia.
PBM and Michael have worked together before when they prepared a Kawasaki ZX-10R for him to win the 2011 Superstock TT. Ducati’s current quickest lap at the TT is 128.717mph by Michael Rutter in 2011.
Michael, who rode the machine for the first time at the official BSB test in Jerez, will also race the PBM-prepared VisionTrack Ducati at the 2020 International North West 200 in Northern Ireland during the week commencing Monday 11th May.
Meanwhile, regular Bennetts BSB riders Josh Brookes and Christian Iddon are continuing their Spanish pre-season schedule at Jerez today and tomorrow. The VisionTrack Ducati pairing were at the cutting edge of last week’s tests at Monteblanco, setting first and second fastest times on day one before ending day two with Australian Brookes second fastest and new signing Iddon in eighth.