Michael Dunlop announces return to road racing

He will race the all-new BMW S1000RR for TAS Racing at the 2019 TT

Michael Dunlop

MICHAEL DUNLOP has announced that he will return to road racing at the 2019 IOM TT, less than a year after his elder brother William was killed in practice at the Skerries 100 last July.

The 29-year-old Ballymoney rider will join TYCO BMW for his second successive season, following an exceptional 2018 TT, with wins in the Monster Energy Supersport Race 1, Bennetts Lightweight Race and the opening RST Superbike Race, and records set in the latter two.

This hat trick of wins took his TT total to 18 and saw him become the third most successful TT rider in history, behind only John McGuinness (23 TT wins) and his uncle, Joey Dunlop (26 TT wins).

Sadly, just a month after his 2018 TT success, his brother William suffered fatal injuries in a crash during practice at the Skerries 100 Road Races in County Dublin. Last Friday, William was inducted into the Irish Motorcycling Hall of Fame at an industry event in Belfast.

For 2019, Dunlop will race the all-new BMW S1000RR for the TYCO BMW TAS Racing team in the RST Superbike and PokerStars Senior events. He has yet to announce his plans for the RL360 Superstock, Bennetts Lightweight and two Monster Energy Supersport Races.

"I'm looking forward to working with TAS Racing again this year," he said in a statement.

"We grabbed a Superbike TT win last year, which was a good start, and the goal this year will be to go after both the Superbike and Senior TT wins on the island.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Dunlop added: "BMW has launched a new bike, which I should be riding in a few weeks' time.

"With the added improvements to the package and a second season with the same team, we should be in a good place to go after both the big wins on the island."

Philip Neill, Tyco BMW Team Manager concluded: “It’s great for TAS Racing to secure another season with Michael and together with our partners BMW and Tyco, we are looking forward to a successful season on the all-new BMW S1000RR.

“It was always our plan to continue with Michael, however it was important we took some time together to consider the best way to approach 2019, and we look forward to announcing further details soon.”