Dunlop lands Black Eagle MV Agusta ride
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Michael Dunlop will head into the 2016 Classic TT presented by Bennetts, with three superb chances of victory having concluded an 11th-hour deal to ride for Black Eagle Racing in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT and Okells Junior Classic TT Races.
Dunlop who will be aiming for his third win in the Superbike category on Steve Wheatman’s XR69 Suzuki, will replace the injured Lee Johnston in David and Mark Kay’s team and will ride MV Agustas in both races. The late deal will give him every opportunity to add more Classic TT victories to his CV.
While regularly starting one of the favourites in the Superbike category, Dunlop hasn’t enjoyed the greatest of fortune in the 350cc and 500cc races despite riding Andy Molnar’s rapid Manx Norton’s. The Ballymoney aces only finish to date came in the inaugural 500cc Race in 2013 when he took seventh.
However, he lapped at 106.773mph in the 2014 500cc Race before retiring from fifth on the final lap and then improved his speed to 108.619mph twelve months ago. On that occasion, he fought his way up to third, just behind the two Black Eagle MV Agustas of Johnston and eventual race winner Dean Harrison, but was again out of luck as he stopped at the end of the third lap.
Johnston won the 350cc race in record-breaking style in 2014, setting a new lap record of 105.239mph, while he also took third in last year’s 500cc race. He has been forced to withdraw from this year’s event after fracturing his collarbone at the recent Ulster Grand Prix.
Having won in both 2014 and 2015 with Johnston and Harrison, Black Eagle Racing now have a superb chance of taking at least one victory for a third year in a row and Dunlop’s addition to the entry adds further spice to an already fiercely competitive line up.
Speaking about his ride on the MV Agusta’s, Michael Dunlop commented:
“I really enjoy the Classic TT and I was disappointed to be missing out on some of the other classes, so I was very happy when I got the call from the Black Eagle boys about riding their MV Agustas. It’s a shame that Lee has been forced to miss out with his injury, but we have seen how strong the bikes have been over the past couple of years and hopefully I can repay the guys in the team with two more wins.”
Classic TT Grandstand tickets are available for Friday’s final qualifying session priced at £5. All prior qualifying sessions are free for the main Grandstand. There are also race day tickets available for both Classic TT race days on Saturday 27th and Monday 29th August as well as VIP and Platinum hospitality tickets. To purchase tickets go to iomtt.com or phone Duke Marketing on (00 44) 1624 640011.