Michael Dunlop’s 2015 plans have finally been confirmed. The Ballymoney will be riding for the Milwaukee Yamaha team at the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix.
The 11 time TT winner parted ways with BMW at the end of last year, with the German marque joining forces with Tyco for the upcoming season. His future has been under intense speculation over the past few weeks but his move to Shaun Muir’s Yamaha team has now been completed. He will be provided a full spec Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike and reports suggest he will run Yamahas under the MD Racing banner in the Supersport and Superstock classes as well.
This won’t be Dunlop’s first time racing a Yamaha, however, as he rode one to victory at the Isle of Man in 2009 – his first of many victories on the mountain course. He has since won with Kawasaki, Honda and BMW. In both 2013 and 2014 he won four races in a week becoming the first rider to do so in consecutive years. Dunlop has revealed that he is confident about the year ahead. “I’ve gone on record as saying that I’ll only race if the package is right,” he explained. “In Shaun’s 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.”
Team boss Shaun Muir also believes the partnership will be a success. “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,” he said. “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.”
The deal will also see Dunlop become the team’s stand-in rider for the British Superbike Championship and compete in selected endurance rounds.