William Dunlop to return to Yamaha

PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 16/8/2015: William Dunlop (CD Racing Yamaha) on his way to winning the Supesport race at the Faugheen road races in Co Tipperary on Sunday. 'PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 16/8/2015: William Dunlop (CD Racing Yamaha) on his way to winning the Supesport race at the Faugheen road races in Co Tipperary on Sunday. 'PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

Ballymoney’s William Dunlop looks set for a return to Yamaha machinery in 2016 after he parted compamy with Tyco BMW.

Dunlop spent two years with Philip Neill’s TAS Racing squad, winning this year’s Irish Superbike Championship on the roads.

He also bagged a North West 200 Superbike win on a Tyco Suzuki in 2014 when he out-gunned his brother Michael, before going on to pick up the Race of the Year at the prestigious Irish Motorcycle Awards.

Speaking after his decision to leave William said: “Philip and all the boys at Tyco BMW were very good to me, so first of all I’d like to thank them for making me feel very welcome. I’d also like to thank BMW Motorrad and Metzeler tyres for their support, which helped me clinch this year’s Irish Superbike title.”

TAS Team manager Neill said: “William’s International Road Racing campaign didn’t go quite to plan, but he was a great ambassador for Tyco BMW and he did win the Irish Superbike title on the roads.

“We have agreed to go our separate ways for 2016, but the door has certainly not been closed. There’s every chance he could return to us in the future and of course everyone at Tyco BMW wishes him well.”

William is set for a full season with Chris Dowd’s Yamaha team on a new top-spec YZF-R1M Superbike prepared by respected tuning guru Marcus Eschenbacher.

Dunlop’s new team boss Dowd has strong ties with former Yamaha World Superbike engineer Eschenbacher – Eugene Laverty’s ex-crew chief in the Aprilia WSBK team – who will prepare the engines for his Superbike and Supersport machines.