Three-times Isle of Man TT winner Michael Dunlop has been confirmed as a member of the Honda TT legends team which will contest the Bol d’Or and Le Mans 25 Hours races this year.
Dunlop was already scheduled to race for the team at the 2013 Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy, but will now also join the squad’s Endurance World Championship effort for two rounds of the season.
He will be part of a four-rider effort also featuring John McGuinness, Simon Andrews and Michael Rutter, who is recovering from a broken bone in his leg. Dunlop’s appointment follows the departure of fellow TT winner Cameron Donald and test sessions held last week.
He will be part of the team for next month’s season-opening event, the Bol d’Or, and return for the year-ending Le Mans race in September. He will also be the reserve rider for the Suzuka 8-Hour, although only attending should McGuinness, Rutter or Andrews is unable to compete
Dunlop will not be involved in the Oschersleben 8-hour as the race clashes with the Ulster Grand Prix, in which Dunlop will compete with his own team.
Team manager Neil Tuxworth said:
“Michael came to Albacete last week with the priority of testing his TT machine, however we also gave him the opportunity to ride the EWC bike. We were very impressed with Michael’s approach to testing, his consistency and the information he was able to feed back to the team.”
“In addition, with the efforts he has made with his training and physical fitness so far, we feel he deserves the opportunity to become the fourth member of the EWC team.”
“We are very pleased to welcome him to the endurance side of things and we’re looking forward to working with him in 2013 to further develop his career.”
“It’s a great opportunity for me to join the EWC side of the Honda TT Legends as well as doing the road racing. I spent a decent amount of time with the crew in France and Spain last week and put a good few laps on the bike, so I already feel like part of the team.”
“I’ve not done endurance racing before but I’m sure I’ll get to grips with the short track laps soon enough. Spending more time on the bike can only be a good thing in terms of bike fitness, and that all helps on the roads so I'm looking forward to getting stuck in.”
The next outing for the Honda TT Legends team will be the official pre-Bol d'Or test at Magny Cours on March 20 and 21.