Michael Dunlop

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Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop in 2012 cropped.jpg
Dunlop signing autographs at the 2012 TT
Nationality Northern Irish
Born (1989-04-10) 10 April 1989 (age 29)
Current team Tyco BMW Racing
Bike number 6
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Isle of Man TT career
TTs contested60 (2007–present)
TT wins18
First TT win2009 Supersport Junior TT Race 2
Last TT win2018 Lightweight TT
Podiums27

Michael Dunlop (born 10 April 1989) is a Northern Irish professional motorcycle racer. Part of a motorcycle racing dynasty,[1] Michael is the brother of the late William Dunlop, son of Robert and nephew of former World Champion Joey Dunlop.

He is a former solo-machine lap record holder for the Snaefell Mountain Course set during the 2016 Senior TT in a time of 16 minutes 53.929 seconds at an average speed of 133.962 mph (215.591 km/h).[2] Dunlop was the first rider in the history of the Isle of Man TT to achieve a lap of the course in under 17 minutes.[2]

Dunlop leading Guy Martin at the 2012 Isle of Man Southern 100 road races

Dunlop is widely regarded amongst the most, if not the most, tenacious competitors in motorcycle racing.[3] His aggressive style and pugnacious attitude has led to confrontation with organisers, race teams,[4] fellow competitors and on occasion, his late brother.[5]

Early racing[edit]

Dunlop on the Formula 1 Suzuki machine for the Classic TT race at 2013 Manx Grand Prix

He made his TT debut in 2007, where his best finish was 25th in the Superbike TT. He made the decision to ride in the 2008 races at the last minute after the death of his father at the North West 200 earlier in the year. He finished 10th in the Senior TT with a fastest lap of 124.773 mph, making him the fastest Dunlop around the TT Course. Dunlop joined his father and uncle Joey in the record books in 2009 when he won the Supersport TT race on a 600cc Yamaha.[6]

Dunlop has also won at the North West 200, recording his only victory to date at the 250 cc race in 2008. His father was killed during practice for this event.

Dunlop took part in the Classic Superbike race at the Manx GP on Friday 31 August.[7] He took the win in the Classic Superbike race at the Manx Grand Prix 2012. This was his sixth title on the Mountain Course and his third Manx Grand Prix race win following his debut, and victory, in the 2006 Newcomers MGP race.[8] During the two-week 2012 Manx GP Dunlop worked in the pits for a team in the 600 Junior Race.

2015[edit]

At the start of the 2015 Road Racing season, Dunlop had a poor start with race team Milwaukee Yamaha, and during the practice week of the 2015 Isle of Man TT, he dramatically left Yamaha to rejoin his previous team, BuildBase BMW, in order to give him the best chance of a good result.

2016[edit]

In February 2016, it was announced that Dunlop would again ride BMW in the Superbike class at International road races during the 2016 racing season, provided by Hawk Racing.[9] The announcement was made at the MCN Motorshow at the Excel, confirming that Dunlop will be riding the 2016 BMW S1000RR.

Isle of Man TT[edit]

Dunlop opened his account at the 2016 Isle of Man TT Races in the Superbike race, which he led from start to finish. Astride a BMW S1000RR, Dunlop bettered the existing absolute course speed record attained during one-lap, also setting a new average speed for the six lap race of 130.306mph in a race-record time of 1 hour, 44 minutes, 14.259 seconds for the 226 miles of racing.[10] In addition Dunlop also won the prestigious John Williams Trophy.

Dunlop's second race of the week was the Supersport Junior 600 TT, race 1. The opening lap saw him dicing at the head of the field with Ian Hutchinson. By the end of the four-lap race, Dunlop finished in second place behind Hutchinson. Following routine post-race inspection of the machines, Dunlop's bike was deemed to have infringed race regulations with non-standard parts,[11] and he was subsequently disqualified. Dunlop returned to the start line for the second race of 6 June, the Superstock TT on a 1000 cc BMW. However, handling difficulties contributed to him retiring from the race at the end of the opening lap.

In the second of the two Supersport Junior races, Dunlop finished second to Hutchinson. For the last race of Dunlop's schedule on Friday 10 June, he led the six-lap Senior TT from lap one, extending his lead over runner-up Ian Hutchinson, winning with a 31-second margin, raising his own absolute lap record speed previously set on Saturday, 4 June by a small amount, and setting a new race record time.[12]

2017[edit]

During the 2016/2017 closed season there were various rumours of possible proposals for 2017.[13] After Hawk Racing's switch from BMW to Suzuki for 2017, Dunlop signed for the Bennett's Suzuki Racing Team campaigning the new Suzuki GSX-R1000 as part of a four-man squad. Dunlop will concentrate on International road races with team mates Sylvain Guintoli and Taylor Mackenzie in British Superbikes and Richard Cooper in National Superstock 1000.[14]

After an introduction to the new machine at Mallory Park, Dunlop pre-season tested with teammates at Circuito de Velocidad de Cartagena and Almeria in Spain for five days.[15] This was followed by a further work up at Donington Park on 22 March.[16]

Isle of Man TT[edit]

The qualifying week for the 2017 Isle of Man TT was plagued by poor weather. Following a sporadic week of qualifying the first race day was given over to additional qualifying and practice, which meant the curtain raiser to the meeting, the Superbike TT, was postponed for 24 hours.

Superbike TT[edit]

Racing got underway on Sunday, 4 June. Dunlop formed up on the grid at the TT Grandstand on board the Bennett's Suzuki in what were ideal conditions. Setting the early pace, Dunlop crossed the line at the head of the field at the end of lap 1, posting a time of 17 minutes 15.79 seconds from a standing start, clocking and average speed of 131.135 mph (211.041 km/h).[17] Going into the second lap with a slender 1.8 second lead over Dean Harrison, Dunlop continued to head the field until he was forced to retire at Handley's Corner.[18]

Supersport (Race 1)[edit]

In the opening Supersport race, Dunlop took his place on the grid astride his familiar MD Racing Yamaha. Dicing for the lead with James Hillier at the end of the opening lap, Dunlop came into the pit stop at the end of lap 2 with a 2.75 second lead. Taking another second from Hillier at the end of lap 3, Dunlop continued to edge ahead on the final lap, coming home with a winning margin of 12.5 seconds.[19]

2018[edit]

At the end of March, 2018, it was announced in a press release by TAS Racing that Dunlop had been signed by the team to campaign factory BMWs in the premier racing categories of the 2018 racing season.

Cookstown 100[edit]

After some pre-season testing with the Tyco BMW squad,[20] Dunlop made his way to the curtain raiser to the Irish Road Racing season, the Cookstown 100.[21] Qualifying third fastest in the Superbike category[22] Dunlop opened his 2018 campaign by taking victory aboard his MD Racing Honda in the Supersport Invitation race.[23]

Dunlop's first competitive outing on the S-1000RR saw him competing in the Open A race. Starting in the lead group he crossed the line at the head of the field only to be awarded second place behind Derek Shiels, losing by 5 seconds on corrected time.[21]

A series of crashes plagued the event, resulting in the cancellation of the remainder of the race programme including the highlight of the meeting, the Cookstown 100 Superbike race.[23][24]

Isle of Man TT[edit]

Superbike TT[edit]

Dunlop won the opening race of the 2018 Isle of Man TT with a race time of 01:44:13.398 and an average lap speed of 130.324 mph (209.736 km/h).

Supersport (Race 1)[edit]

Dunlop followed up his Superbike TT win with a win in the Supersport category.


Complete TT record[edit]

2018 Superbike TT
1
Supersport TT
1
Superstock TT
2
Supersport TT 2
5
Lightweight TT
1
Senior TT
4
2017 Superbike TT
DNF
Supersport TT
1
Superstock TT
6
Supersport TT 2
Cancelled
Lightweight TT
7
Senior TT
1
2016 Superbike TT
1
Supersport Junior TT 1
DSQ
Superstock TT
DNF
Supersport Junior TT 2
2
Senior TT
1
2015 Superbike TT
DNF
Supersport TT
DNF
Superstock TT
2
Supersport TT 2
DNF
Lightweight TT
DNF
Senior TT
5
2014 Superbike TT
1
Supersport TT
3
Superstock TT
1
Supersport TT 2
1
Lightweight TT
DNS
Senior TT
1
2013 Superbike TT
1
Supersport TT
1
Superstock TT
1
Supersport TT 2
1
Senior TT
2
500cc Classic TT
7
Classic TT
Formula 1

1
2012 Superbike TT
10
Supersport TT
DNF
Superstock TT
2
Supersport TT 2
1
Lightweight TT
15
Senior TT
Cancelled
2011 Superbike TT
5
Supersport TT 1
DNF
Superstock TT
1
Supersport TT 2
DNF
Senior TT
6
2010 Superstock TT
8
Supersport TT 1
3
Supersport TT 2
2
Superbike TT
2
Senior TT
DNF
2009 Lightweight 250 TT 1
2
Lightweight 250 TT 2
2
Superstock TT
DNF
Supersport TT 1
DNF
Supersport TT 2
1
Superbike TT
DNF
Senior TT
DNF
2008 Lightweight 250 TT
DNF
Superstock TT
DNF
Supersport Junior TT 1
10
Supersport Junior TT 2
8
Superbike TT
14
Senior TT
10
2007 Supersport TT
DNF
Superbike TT
25
Senior TT
DNF

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Road - BBC One". BBC. 
  2. ^ a b "Results" (PDF). www.iomtt.com. 
  3. ^ "Michael Dunlop in mood to boost Dundrod tally" – via www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk. 
  4. ^ "Michael Dunlop leaves Milwaukee Yamaha to rejoin BMW two days before Isle of Man TT begins". 
  5. ^ "He ain't heavy: We profile Michael and William Dunlop" – via www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk. 
  6. ^ Dunlop clinches first TT triumph BBC Website 2009-06-10 Retrieved 2010-02-02
  7. ^ "RealRoadRacing.Com • View topic - 2012 Manx GP Festival promises Grea…". 1 February 2013. Archived from the original on 1 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  9. ^ Michael Dunlop aims for TT joy with BMW Belfast Telegraph, 13 February 2016, Retrieved 13 February 2016
  10. ^ "Results" (PDF). www.iomtt.com. 
  11. ^ Senior TT explodes into Dunlop, Hutchy war of words Bike Sport News, 10 June 2016. "Dunlop himself had been ruled out of the first Supersport race result after his engine was found to be using illegal coated cam buckets installed in the motor two years ago when they were inside the regulations". Retrieved 12 June 2016
  12. ^ Michael Dunlop wins Senior in record time BBC Sport, 10 June 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016
  13. ^ "Michael Dunlop signs for Bennetts Suzuki". 
  14. ^ "Buildbase Suzuki". suzuki-racing.com. 
  15. ^ "BENNETTS SUZUKI CONFIDENT AFTER SPANISH TESTS". suzuki-racing.com. 
  16. ^ Motorcycle.com (22 February 2017). "Michael Dunlop To Race Suzuki GSX-R1000 At 2017 Isle Of Man - Motorcycle.com News". 
  17. ^ "Results" (PDF). www.iomtt.com. 
  18. ^ "TT 2017: Bennetts Suzuki team left frustrated by Dunlop retirement". 
  19. ^ "Photo" (PDF). www.iomtt.com. 
  20. ^ "PICTURES: Michael Dunlop tests Tyco BMW at Kirkistown". 
  21. ^ a b "COOKSTOWN 100: Derek Sheils and Michael Dunlop make winning start to new season". 
  22. ^ "COOKSTOWN 100: Michael Dunlop third fastest on Tyco BMW as Derek McGee seals pole". 
  23. ^ a b "COOKSTOWN 100: Racing abandoned following spate of crashes". 
  24. ^ "COOKSTOWN 100: Derek Sheils maintains unbeaten winning streak on Suzuki". 
  • [1] Manx 2012
  • [2] MGP 2012 CS race.

External links[edit]