The Ballymoney man is set to drive the new SYNETIQ BMW M1000RR for the TAS Racing Northern Ireland team at the event from July 30-31, which will be the first Irish national meeting of the year.
Dunlop did not take part in last September’s Cookstown 100, the only Irish road race to take place in 2020, and has not been in action on the roads since the Classic TT 2019.
However, the 19-time Isle of Man TT winner has been busy this year, competing in numerous tests and first competing in the Daytona 200 in March, as well as last month’s British Superstock 1000 round in Oulton Park and at the Ulster Superbike opening meeting. of the year in Kirkistown, County Down this past weekend.
Dunlop will also compete in the Supersport class on the Yamaha R6 MD Racing at Armoy and is engaged in the Senior Classic race on an exotic 500 MV Agusta, when he takes on his former rival Guy Martin, who rides his BSA Rocket-3.
A sparkling team was secured for the Co Antrim race, including Derek Sheils on the Macau BMW Roadhouse; McAdoo Racing’s Derek McGee, Michael Sweeney, Adam McLean and Darryl Tweed, Davey Todd (Wilson Craig Racing) and Burrows Engineering / RK Racing drivers Paul Jordan and Mike Browne.
Armoy Race Director Bill Kennedy told the News Letter: “Michael returns to defend his title at Armoy in the SYNETIQ BMW and he is also entered in a three-cylinder MV Agusta 500 in the Classic race, with Guy Martin riding a BSA 3.
âWe are very excited with the roster for the entire racing program and everything is preparing for a great day of racing at Armoy.
âBesides Michael, you have Derek Sheils, Derek McGee, Davey Todd, Adam McLean, Paul Jordan, Michael Sweeney, Joe Loughlin and Darryl Tweed. They are a strong team for the first Irish road race of the year and they will all be there to win, âadded Kennedy.
âWe’re just hoping for a good dry day now because everything else is in place and we’ve put a lot of work into getting the event up and running this year. It has been difficult and trying for the club, but we are almost there.
Kennedy and the Armoy Club have been working feverishly behind the scenes to ensure the event complies with the necessary mitigations of Covid-19.
The cap of 500 people at outdoor gatherings was lifted earlier this month, although Kennedy remains uncertain about the final maximum allowed crowd numbers.
“Obviously, the meeting will still be held under restrictions and we are still discussing with the Ministry of Communities,” he said.
âAlthough there is an increase in the number of people allowed, we still don’t know what the numbers will be, but we hope that will be fixed by the end of the month.
âI want to call on everyone who comes to Armoy to take care of themselves and follow the guidelines and instructions of the program. The parking lot has been zoned so that people can watch from certain vantage points around the course and we ask spectators to come to the circuit an hour before the roads close and stay in their places all day, âa Kennedy said.
“The simple message is that you need an admission armband and a program to enter and we ask anyone who has not booked online not to show up at Armoy.”
The roads will be closed for training on Friday July 30 at 12:30 p.m., reopening at 9:30 p.m. at the latest. A Supersport 600 and Lightweight Supersport race are scheduled after practice.
On Saturday July 31, the roads will close at 10 a.m. sharp and reopen at 7:30 p.m. at the latest.
The highlights of the races will be broadcast on BBC1 NI on a date to be confirmed.