Dunlop to drop Norton for 2010?

Ongoing mechanical issues force Irish star to rethink next year's race strategy

ROAD RACING star Michael Dunlop is set to turn his back on Norton for 2010 after his debut on the legendary marque's newest racer was plagued by mechanical failures.

Dunlop was lined-up to ride in this year's Senior TT aboard Norton's new racer, but a series of mechanical woes prevented Dunlop from qualifying the company's NRV588 superbike for the event. The problems have dampened the Irish racer's enthusiasm for the team:

"I never signed a contract with Norton, so I don't have to ride the bike at the TT next year if I don't want to," said 20-year-old Dunlop."

The Ballymoney racer is aiming for big things in 2010 and wants to be riding machinery that's up to the job.

"I'm not tied down to what bikes I can or can't ride, so I'll just wait and see how the bike comes along. We had a lot of problems with it this year and it never really got going. I'm expecting a big year next year and I want to try and build on the win I got in the Supersport race, so I want to make sure that everything is right.

"I'm still trying to pull things together for next season, but I should be able to say exactly what I'm doing before Christmas," he added.