Michael Dunlop to test Suzuki MotoGP bike

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15-time Isle of Man TT winner Michael Dunlop will test Suzuki’s MotoGP bike at the Sepang International Circuit later this week.

MCN understands the Ballymoney ace has been invited to the test to sample the Japanese marque’s GSX-RR Grand Prix machine as a reward for winning the 2017 Senior TT aboard the all-new GSX-R1000.

MotoAmerica Superbike champion Toni Elias and Australian champ Josh Waters are also expected to try the bike alongside new full-time Suzuki test rider Sylvain Guintoli at the private test in Sepang ahead of the MotoGP field hitting the track next Sunday.

However, unlike Dunlop, both Elias and Waters are already signed to continue riding for Suzuki this year.

The 28-year-old is yet to make his mind up as to where he’ll race in 2018, so you could be forgiven for seeing Suzuki presenting Dunlop with an offer of a GP test ride as more than just a ‘thank you’.

Dunlop has been linked to a move back to BMW machinery with the Tyco BMW squad following the departure of Ian Hutchinson to Honda. A new Shaun Muir-run BMW effort has also been connected to Dunlop in recent months.

However, the Hawk Racing Suzuki effort are understood to have made a big push to retain Dunlop with fewer and fewer big names still on the market. Could this test push him in the right direction? 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing