TT Preview: Michael Dunlop, the Maverick

Published: 27 May 2011

Michael Dunlop. Twenty-two years old. TT winner. Privateer. Maverick.

Dunlop was courted by top teams this winter but eventually stuck with his gang of friends and backers, who have supported him so enthusiastically.

But why do that when the racing's so tough and a factory eases the pain?

"I'm where I am because of the people I've got around me. They have put a lot of hard work and big money into me and it just wouldn't have been fair to turn my back on them," said Dunlop with his usual candour.

What's different is that Dunlop's superbike is coming from Paul Bird Motorsport, the same team fronting the factory WSB Kawasaki effort.

But why switch to Kawasaki in the first place? "We looked long and hard at all the options. The BMW looks fast but then the Kawasaki matches it. I talked to Paul Bird and he said that he could get factory support and that they'd build us a superbike but we could still run our own team."

You can read the full article in the TT Preview 2011 supplement, free with your copy of the May 25 issue of MCN on sale now.