Last night, at the TT launch event in Ramsey on the Isle of Man, 19-time TT winner Michael Dunlop, sensationally revealed that he would not be racing the PMB Ducati at this year’s TT races.
During an on-stage interview with Steve Plater, Dunlop who was notably not dressed in his PMB Ducati shirt, announced that the deal with the Paul Bird Motorsport squad, to ride the Ducati Panigale V4 R has been cancelled, saying,
“It’s a brand new motorbike and we needed time on it. When you’re racing against these lads that are full-time professional riders, racing bikes day in day out, to rock up at the first race, with that being the first time I’ve sat on the bike, it’s just not practical.”
Dunlop went on to promise fans that he would still be racing at the TT, but kept his cards close to his chest with regards to exactly what bikes he will be riding. There’ll be a Honda Fireblade superstock bike in the Dunlop camp but if I was a betting man, I’d put a few quid on him turning up with a BMW machinery for the Superbike and Senior races. He’s had reasonable success running his own bike out of his own setup before, so don’t rule that out as a possibility.
Whatever bike he’s on, you can bet your bottom dollar Michael Dunlop will be somewhere near the front. Will he at the very front though? We’ll find out in just over a month’s time.