Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop is eyeing Senior glory at the Isle of Man TT races in June after confirming his plans for the 2012 international road racing season.
Dunlop had been linked with Cookstown team McAdoo Racing and the Co Tyrone outfit will indeed be heavily involved in the Michael Dunlop Racing team this season.
Double TT winner Dunlop will ride a Honda CBR1000-RR Superbike, a Kawasaki ZX-10R Superstock machine and a GSX-R600 Suzuki, which was previously raced by Marty Nutt in the British Supersport Championship.
He will also have a Kawasaki ER6 Supertwin, which is one of four Kawasaki machines supplied by McAdoo Racing, including a ZX-10R Superstock bike, a ZX-10R as a spare Superbike and a ZX-6R as a back-up Supersport bike.
Dunlop’s top priority this year remains the Isle of Man TT races, where he recorded his fastest ever lap of the Mountain Course at 130mph on the Robinson Concrete Honda in 2010.
The 23-year-old’s ambition is to win the showpiece Senior race and Dunlop feels he has his best chance yet of achieving that aim in June as he reverts back to Honda power with a 2012 Fireblade provided by Hunts Motorcycles Manchester.
Dunlop told News Letter Sport: “The Honda should be as good as anything else out there. I’ve managed to get some special parts for it through Clive Padgett and I’m working on building it at the moment.
“I’m going to make sure the bike is good and the main thing is that it’s fast and obviously reliability is important at the TT as well.
“The main thing for me is to get the big bike right because my aim is to try and win the Senior at the TT.”
McAdoo Racing, also providing Dunlop with two race transporters and bringing their own sponsor GO Forecourt to the table, is celebrating 30 years in the sport this season and Dunlop would love nothing more than to reward team owner Winston McAdoo with international success, particularly at the TT.
“I’m glad to be working with McAdoo Racing and I’d like to try and give Winston McAdoo a win at the TT this year because it’s their 30th anniversary of racing this year.
“The team is called Michael Dunlop Racing and everyone has chipped in to keep the show on the road,” he added.
“There are no big egos in the team and everyone is playing their part. McAdoo Racing are heavily involved in all of the bikes, including the Honda Superbike and the 600cc Suzuki - and their logo is on all the bikes.
“I’ve also got a lot of help from John Brown at Hunts Motorcycles in Manchester, who has supplied me with a 2012 Fireblade.
“Gerald Rice of Around A Pound, Dromad Hire and Dunlop Tyres are also on board again as well and Martin Marlow has put a lot into the 600 Suzuki through Ard Na Mara Homes, so everyone is trying their hardest and it’s all one big team effort.”
McAdoo Racing do not compete in Sunday races in keeping with their religious convictions, but this does not represent an issue for Dunlop, who has the option of riding his own machines without the McAdoo logos.
“It’s a big team and if I want to ride on a Sunday I can take my own Superstock bike out because obviously Winston has his religious beliefs and I respect them,” he said. “I’ve yet to decide when I’ll be out on the bikes for the first time because we’ve got to sit down and look at it. “At the moment I don’t know which of the national races I’ll be doing because I’ve got to concentrate on the North West 200 and TT first.
“I’m looking at the bigger picture first and then we’ll go from there.”