Northern Irish businessman Chris Dowd will expand his stable of machines to include superbikes for 2016, with, as reported last month by MCN, William Dunlop signs full-time with the team.
Riding for them this season in the supersport class, 2016 will see Dunlop leave behind the Tyco BMW superbike and Superstock machines as he instead goes for Yamaha machinery in both classes.
However, success at the international meetings was lacking for the Ballymoney man, who admitted that a combination of factors left him struggling.
“I had success nationally winning the Irish Championships on the Supersport and Superbike, but at the international road races there was a combination of bad luck and my own fault with a couple of crashes.
“One at the North West 200 where I fractured a handful of vertebrae in my back, and another a couple of weeks later on the last day of practice at the Isle of Man TT which ended that event for me. I was lucky just to break one rib and now I’m glad to see the wintertime to get myself all good again for 2016.”
And an opportunity to shine he should have next season, as he steps onto not only a supersport but superbike machine prepared by Yamaha tuner Marcus Eschenbacher – the man largely responsible for Cal Crutchlow’s World Supersport title.
“As most already know Chris is someone I have rode for before, mainly in the 600 class where we have had a lot of success. Now the team have decided to run with me in all classes including the Superbike. We are keeping the R6 built by Marcus and his guys. Chris has everything in place for them to build us a brand new R1. I can’t say how excited I am to be a part of this and to have their involvement with the superbike along with Graham Irvine for my suspension.
“If anyone has a chance to make this bike work on the roads it is this team. I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead in 2016 and also to enjoy my racing. I get on with everyone here and it feels like a second family to me.”