Michael Dunlop to ride Norton at TT’09
Two of the biggest names in TT history will merge together next year with Michael Dunlop riding for Norton.
The son of the late Robert Dunlop and nephew of the legendary Joey will pilot the NRV588 Rotary Norton round the notorious 37¾ mile circuit.
Norton has been away from the TT for 16 years since Steve Hislop’s historic victory in the 1992 Senior TT.
And the return for 2009 will be part of Norton’s resurgence into the motorcycle world thanks to bike enthusiast and owner of Norton Racing, Stuart Garner.
Garner said: “This is the first time since 1993 that an official Norton team has raced at the TT.
We have a fantastic racing pedigree with the brand established over 100 years ago and our aim is to emulate the success Norton race bikes achieved particularly in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.
The 588cc Norton race bike has been developed over the last year by Brian Crighton and the Spondon engineering team and we are confident that 2009 will prove to be a significant milestone in the history of this famous UK motorcycle brand.”
It will also be an emotional combination for Michael Dunlop who will follow in his fathers footsteps by riding for the British manufacture.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to make history with Norton’s return to one of the world’s most famous races - a real highlight of the racing calendar,” said Michael.
“It means a lot to me as I will be following in my father’s bike tracks as he finished third on his JPS Norton when he competed in 1990.”
Hon Martyn Quayle MHK, Minister for Tourism and Leisure, Isle of Man Government said:
“Having Norton back in the TT is sensational news. It will truly be an historic occasion within the competitions history. They were a fabulous crowd pleaser and we have every confidence this will be the first of many successful races for the Norton team.”
MCN spoke exclusively to Michael Dunlop following a short test and photo shoot with the Norton earlier this week at Donington Park.