Michael Dunlop, the fastest man to ever lap the Isle of Man TT circuit, will race for Suzuki in 2017.
In what’s set to be a formidable year for the Ulsterman, Dunlop has joined forces with the new-look Bennetts Suzuki team and will race the all-new GSX-R1000.
The 27-year-old sits sixth on the all-time TT winner’s list with 13 victories around the infamous 37.73 mile long circuit on the Isle of Man and will be hoping to add to that tally with Suzuki in June.
Partnering with former ally Steve Hicken as team manager, Dunlop is feeling confident about what can be achieved…
“I know Steve and I know they can take a new bike and get it right. This is a good team and there’s a good link with Yoshimura. It’s going to be interesting this year. I’ve been helping the team build my own bikes and it’ll be good to have a run around at Mallory for a shakedown before we go to Spain.”
For Hicken, securing the services of a rider with Dunlop’s calibre leaves no doubt about their ambitions for victory next June.
“We’ve known Michael for a long time and always wanted to work with him again, so we’re really pleased we’ve been able to put a deal together,” told Hicken. “We’ve made good progress already with the development of the new GSX-R1000, and we know the potential is there with the bike.
“With a proven winner like Michael onboard, there’s no reason why we can’t be winning races right away. That’s got to be the aim.”
Dunlop will race the new machine at the North West 200 in May, before competing at the all-important Isle of Man TT races in June, as well as the Southern 100 and Ulster Grand Prix road races.
In 2016 Dunlop became the fastest man ever around the Isle of Man TT circuit lapping it in under 17 minutes at an incredible average speed of 133.393mph.
With Dunlop joining Suzuki, Ian Hutchinson staying with BMW and Honda rolling out their two-man team of John McGuinness and Guy Martin, the feature Superbike races already mean big competition.