Michael Dunlop signs to ride Buildbase BMW bike

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Michael Dunlop has signed for Hawk Racing to ride the Buildbase BMW Superbike at the international road races in 2016.

The 11-time Isle of Man TT winner will ride the S1000RR at the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix.

Dunlop is also set to make several wildcard appearances in the MCE British Superbike Championship, including at Silverstone and Oulton Park.

Last year, the 26-year-old crashed on the final lap of the RST Superbike race while holding third place.

The injuries he sustained hampered his chances during the remainder of the festival, but Dunlop still set his fastest ever TT lap – 132.515mph – in the blue riband Senior TT.

Dunlop said: “I’m coming back to the TT to win again. I gave it my best last year but the Superbike crash wasn’t the best preparation for the Senior.

“My last lap at the TT reminded everyone what I can do and with these boys behind me I’m ready to race properly again.”

Team manager Steve Hicken added: “We’re delighted to have Michael back on board for 2016. We know what we have to do to get him back on the top step on the Isle of Man and with a proper lead time to prepare this year we’re looking forward to helping Michael achieve his ambitions.”Hawk Racing Team Manager Steve

In 2014, Dunlop bagged a superb TT treble on BMW machinery, completing a clean sweep in the Superbike, Superstock and Senior races. He also sealed a Supersport victory to secure his second successive four-timer on the Mountain Course.

It is also expected that Dunlop will ride a BMW in the Superstock class under his own MD Racing banner plus an as yet unconfirmed Supersport machine.

WILLIAM DUNLOP

Michael’s brother William is also preparing for the new race season. He spent some time at the end of last month in Cartagena in Spain with his new team MSS Colchester Kawasaki.

William commented on the testing: “It was a really positive test and important to get a good run of track time on what basically started out as a road bike with some suspension on it.

“I would never have imagined to make my fastest ever laps around Cartagena on such a bike and to do that even with making changes and getting over small issues is a testament to the team. I’m happy and looking forward to the next test.”