Michael Dunlop Signs with Tyco BMW Motorrad for 2018 Road Racing Campaign.
The 15-time Isle of Man TT winner will campaign the world’s most famous road races for the marque which saw him dominate the event in 2014 and 2016.
Isle of Man TT winner and current Superbike lap record holder Michael Dunlop will campaign the 2018 Isle of Man TT, North West 200 and Ulster GP with Tyco BMW Motorrad alongside Dan Kneen. Both Dunlop and the Tyco BMW Motorrrad team established themselves as constant front-runners around the 37.73 mile course.
For Dunlop, it’s a return to the marque which helped him dominate the Superstock, Superbike and Senior TT races in 2014 aboard the BMW S 1000 RR, going on to achieve two further TT wins in 2016.
Dunlop’s Senior TT win in 2014 saw BMW Motorrad return to the top step of the Isle of Man’s Senior TT for the first time since Georg Meier won in 1939. After a hugely successful 2017 TT campaign, scoring six podiums and two wins, BMW Motorrad is aiming to add to its 37 TT wins.
With factory support from BMW Motorrad Motorsport, Tyco BMW Motorrad have been the factory BMW outfit since 2015 at the Isle of Man TT and in the British Superbike Championship. With 27 North West 200 victories and 18 race wins at the Isle of Man, TAS Racing have a rich and successful road racing pedigree.
A number of private tests are scheduled ahead of the 2018 Isle of Man TT, set to take place from 26 May to 8 June.
Michael Dunlop, 15-Time Isle of Man TT Winner: “Tyco and I have spoken many of times but nothing ever came of it, this year everything fell into place. I think it’s a good time for us both to have go at a partnership, I think both can bring something to the table and I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome.”
Philip Neill, Tyco BMW Team Manager: “It has taken some time for this to come together and I’m very happy to confirm Michael Dunlop and TAS Racing/Tyco BMW will finally work together in 2018. Michael and I have discussed options to work together on various occasions and I honestly believe this is a partnership that simply had to happen at some point. Hector and I, together with all the guys at TAS Racing, are excited and looking forward to the challenge. We would not be in this position without the support of our partners Tyco and BMW Motorrad and both are extremely happy to reach agreement with Michael for the 2018 season.”
Public’s help sought in quest to name greatest ever TT rider
Over 1,400 TT fans have already cast their vote in a poll to discover the greatest TT rider of all time.
The search takes in riders from almost every era of the Isle of Man TT’s 110-plus year history from pre war hero Stanley Woods to current stars such as Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson.
The results of the public vote will be announced on a special programme made by new TT TV host broadcasters Greenlight Television, to be aired on ITV4 at 9.00pm on Monday, 28th May.
Fans wanting to take part in the poll can do so by visiting iomtt.com/vote, reviewing the videos of the top twenty suggestions and submitting their choice, or nominating another name if they feel they have been overlooked.
The question of ‘greatest’ TT rider of all time is a sticky one that has been debated for almost as long as the races have been run.
Some names on the list will be very familiar to fans of the TT: such as John McGuinness, Ian Lougher, Bruce Anstey, David Jefferies, David Molyneux and the previously mentioned Hutchinson and Dunlop – all of whose achievements speak for themselves.
Other names from the TT’s past need little introduction to today’s audience, especially Joey Dunlop whose 26 wins makes him the most successful TT rider ever.
Carl Fogarty and close rival Steve Hislop are well remembered for the record-breaking clashes the pair engendered in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s culminating in arguably the greatest race in TT history, the 1992 Senior TT Race, which saw Hislop win by just four seconds despite Fogarty setting a new absolute lap record on the final lap.
Again, Mike Hailwood and great rival Giacomo Agostini are names that no TT spectator can fail to recognise. Two supreme talents that lit up the Mountain Course in the 1960s and provided equally spectacular entertainment to Foggy and Hizzy’s later antics. Hailwood’s comeback in 1978 sealed his reputation with another generation of TT lovers and will make him a strong contender.
Dubliner Stanley Woods took an early lead in the ‘greatest ever’ battle by becoming the first man to win 10 TT races, a figure not eclipsed until Mike Hailwood’s ascendency in the 1960s.
Before Mike ‘the Bike’ hit the roads, two formidable competitors stake strong claims to last fame at the TT in the early years of it being the most prestigious race on the World Championship calendar: Geoff Duke’s sublime style and innovative approach contrasted strongly with pugnacious Glaswegian Bob McIntyre. Duke had more success and renown but McIntyre took the coveted 100mph lap record.
Uniquely, John Surtees followed up his incredible success at the TT and in motorcycle world championships by becoming the only man to date to also win a Formula One World Championship.
Phil Read’s long career saw him racing against Mike Hailwood in the 1960s and still being on the scene when Hailwood made his famous return in 1978 – indeed Phil was Mike’s closest challenger in that 1978 Formula 1 TT Race.
When Agostini’s career took him in a different direction, Charlie Williams was just on the rise. Through the 1970s he notched up a formidable tally of 8 wins, when just finishing the race on fragile two-strokes was an achievement in itself.
Although David Molyneux will be the most familiar sidecar name on the list it is hard to forget just what a competitor Rob Fisher was: from 14 finishes he took ten wins and three second places.
With the option to vote for other riders not mentioned on the top twenty list, voters have the chance to add names such as Harold Daniell, Jim Moodie, Bill Ivy, Adrian Archibald, Jimmy Guthrie, Jimmy Simpson, Freddie Frith or anyone else they feel deserves the accolade.