Michael Dunlop PBM Ducati Isle of Man TT deal canceled

Michael Dunlop during a test on the PBM Ducati at Jerez in Spain in 2020.

Dunlop confirmed the news at the official launch of the Isle of Man TT on Saturday evening.

The 19-time TT winner had rekindled his deal with Paul Bird to race the Italian machine this year after he was originally due to race the Panigale V4R in 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

Dunlop will race a Yamaha R6 in the Supersport class and a Honda CBR1000RR-R Superstock. The 33-year-old is also set to compete again on a Paton in the Supertwin class after back-to-back wins in 2018 and 2019.

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The third most successful TT rider of all time behind his uncle Joey (26 wins) and John McGuinness (23), Dunlop had worked with Bird in the past, teaming up in 2011 when he won the Superstock race on a Kawasaki prepared by PBM for its first fat bike success at the TT.

He rode BMW S1000RR machines in the Superbike class for Tyco BMW Team Northern Ireland in the two seasons before the global coronavirus crisis, winning an emotional Superbike TT in 2018 following the death of teammate Manxman Dan Kneen, in training.

Dunlop returned to the roads at Armoy last July for the first time since the 2019 Classic TT. In front of his home fans, he produced a virtuosic performance, taking a sensational five-fold and a record ninth victory in the showpiece ‘Race of Legends” on the TAS Racing BMW M1000RR. He also broke his all-time lap record in 2013 with a new benchmark of 106.945 mph.

The Ulster rider is renowned for winning TT races for a series of manufacturers around the mountain course – including Honda, BMW, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and Paton – but now it looks like he is trying to add another string to his bow with victory over the Ducati. in June fell through.

In 2019 he took his 19th TT victory in the lightweight race on the Paton, but Dunlop was hampered in the higher capacity categories after injuring his wrist in a crash during a test before the North West 200.

He also crashed heavily at the Southern 100 a few weeks after the TT, breaking his pelvis among other injuries, but soon after triumphed against all odds at home in Armoy.

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