ADAM MCLEAN NAMED KDM HIRE COOKSTOWN 100 MAN OF THE MEETING
Tobermore rider Adam McLean produced a dynamite display of road racing as he racked up a race win and further podium finishes on his way to being named man of the meeting at Cookstown.
In total, McLean garnered an unrivalled 76 points from his performances in the championship races, further underlining his roads credentials.
A fifth place in the Open A Race was followed by a second placed finish in the Moto3 Class. Another second spot in the Supersport event was well earned before the McAdoo Kawasaki / Hanna Motors rider capped off a superb weekend with a thrilling supertwin victory.
McLean had this to say when speaking to Baylon McCaughey:
“This is bit of a surprise, brilliant! That was a Difficult day for everyone, and a sensible approach was needed. Thankfully the Cookstown club had the foresight to call it a day, I know it was disappointing, not only for the riders, but also for all the race fans, but, Man of the Meeting, that’s super.”
A tough but wise call by the race organisers to abandon racing had to be made with safety the paramount concern.
All injured riders are ok. Owen Graves was taken to hospital but following X-Rays was given the all clear with just bruising and no broken bones.
DAN KNEEN SET FOR AROUND-A-POUND TANDRAGEE 100
Tyco BMW roads star Dan Kneen is set to make his return to the Tandragee 100 this coming weekend. Kneen last appeared at Tandragee back in 2016 when riding for Mar-Train Yamaha.
Kneen stepped in to the Tyco BMW ranks for the 2017 Ulster Grand Prix following an injury Ian Hutchinson sustained at the Isle Of Man TT, and he immediately impressed at Dundrod showing real pace in what proved to be a record breaking international meeting.
That secured his place with the Moneymore based team for the 2018 roads season and he will be determined to impress at Tandragee ahead of the international season opener at the North West 200.
Consistent performances throughout 2017, including a stunning TT Superstock podium finish, will fill the Braddan man with confidence as he seeks to further underline his roads credentials in 2018.
Kneen will join an already stellar lineup for the County Armagh meeting.
Cookstown 100 superbike winner Derek Sheils will be in attendance and William Dunlop will also be racing at the event hosted by the North Armagh Club.
This year’s Tandragee 100 takes place on the 4th and 5th of May with practice on the Friday and racing on the Saturday.
Road closure times are as follows:
Friday 4th May from 3pm - 9pm
Saturday 5th May from 10am - 7pm
MCGEE STARTS ON POLE IN SUPERBIKE CLASS AT THE KDM HIRE COOKSTOWN 100
Mullingar rider, Derek McGee underlined his versatility when he qualified on Pole in both the Superbikes and Moto 3 classes for to morrows KDM Hire Cookstown 100.
Qualifying for tomorrows races was held in excellent conditions, however only one race was run before the organizers decided to pull the plug on safety grounds. With low lying sun beginning to cause problems at the back of the circuit, the 600 Invitation race was red flagged after half a lap, as Mike Norbury slipped off at turn one, but riders appeared to be uneasy with the sun, and after talks with the organizers, Clerk of the Course Francis Everard wisely called it quits for the evening.
Michael Dunlops debut with the TYCO BMW saw him qualify in third spot for the Superbike races behind Michael Sweeney and McGee, with only 0.44 seconds covering the leading trio. Brian McCormack was 4th quickest ahead of James Cowton and William Dunlop. Derek Sheils only got half a lap before his machine expired and he hurriedly returned to the pits and took out his 600 Yamaha, and despite traffic, qualified in 12th place.
Sheils then put his 600 Yamaha on pole for the 600 race just 0.095 seconds ahead of Adam McLean with McGee just a fifth of a second adrift in third. 4th on the grid will be James Cowton just ahead
of the Dunlops with Michael in 5th spot.
The top four in the moto 3 class shattered the 5 year old lap record, with McGee taking pole from Adam McLean, Paul Robinson and best of the two strokes, Joesph Loughlin. Local riders Paul Jordan (Moto 3) and Nigel Moore completed the leaderboard.
McLean and Cowton both went under the lap record inn the Supertwins where Joesph Loughlin was third, just a tenth of the existing lap record. Derek McGee only got one lap before
Thomas Maxwell qualified in 4th ahead of newcomer Davey Todd and Michael Browne, with New Zealander Daneil Mettam in 7th spot.
Best of the Supermonos was Shaun Anderson in 9th place on the Kramer.
Barry Davison stamped his authority in both the 350 and 500 classic qualifying with Brian Mateer heading the quarter litre class by a whisker from Philip Shaw and Richard Ford.
Nigel Moore qualified second in the 350 ahead of Ed Manly, with manx man, Chris McGahan in 4th.
In the 1000 class, it is Richard Ford who heads the leaderboard from French newcomer Morgan Govignon and Jamie O Brein.
Second on the grid for the 500 class will be Freddie Stewart with Mark Parret ,riding the Ex works Norton as ridden by Charlie Williams at the MGP two years ago, in 3rd spot.
Schoolteacher Barry Sheehan heads the junior support class from Jason cassels and Alaistair Haworth, with Michael Nagle, Liam Chawke and Rikki McGovern competing the top 6.
Cork rider, Michael Browne heads the senior support from newcomers Darren Keys, Stephen Haddow, Aaron Mellish and Owen Graves.
Darryl Tweed just holds on to pole for the Lightweight supersport from Alaister Haworth, with Seamus Elliot in third ahead of Stephen McKeown, Stephen Morrisson and best of the Forgotten Era riders, Gareth Keys in 6th spot.
The only race to go to night was the senior Support B, and it was Ballymoneys Tommy Henry who won the race on corrected time from David Murphy and John O Donavan.
Roads Close to Morrow at 10.00am, for a 17 race programme. The first race will be the Invitation 600 race.
Spectators are reminded, Please BUY A PROGRAMME, AND Respect the surrounding properties.
WILLIAM DUNLOP TO CONTEST THE 2018 AROUND-A-POUND TANDRAGEE 100
Mar-train Racing will be bringing William Dunlop to the Tandragee 100 on the Temple Golf Club & Caffrey International Yamaha.
“The North Armagh Motorcycle & Car Club Ltd is delighted to promote the 58th Around A Pound Tandragee 100 on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th May 2018.
We are delighted to announce that Tim Martin has confirmed he is bringing William Dunlop to this year’s Tandragee 100 to compete on the Temple Golf Club / & Caffery International Yamaha. William will compete in the 600 Supersport and the two Superbike races.
After a year away from the sport Tim Martin’s desire to win races has only intensified and he aims to prove just how good both Dunlop and the Mar-Train Yamaha actually are with International victories the absolute target. However, William enjoys Tandragee and the course offers not only a challenge for the competitor but a great opportunity to set up the bike for the internationals that lie ahead.”
In what is a major coup for the club, the attendance of Dunlop will no doubt help draw even more supporters to the already popular event.
Roads close 3pm-9pm Friday and 10am-7pm Saturday.
Programmes £15, Grandstands £5 on Friday & Saturday, Official Car Parks £5. We would welcome a donation of £5 to help cover the ever growing costs.
The Tandragee 100 Supporters Club will be in the Paddock selling memberships £10...all money goes straight back into the event which is run entirely by volunteers.
BT62 2HB is Clare Primary School there is a car park across the road and the paddock is a 2 minute walk.
Also check out the spectator section of the website www.tandragee100.co.uk
DALEY MATHISON ON LOOKOUT FOR NEW TEAM
Daley Mathison is on the lookout for a new team following his decision to part company with Jackson Racing.
With the international season just weeks away, the English rider has decided to terminate his contract with Jackson Racing but he insists that when the North West 200 kicks off he will be on the grid.
Parting with Jackson Racing was on amicable terms and although Mathison has stated he will go it alone if needs be, he is on the hunt for new backing and would welcome potential sponsors contacting him.
Mathison will have a full complement of BMW machinery courtesy of long term backer Eddie Stobart, but the Durham man had hoped that his partnership with Jackson Racing would go some way to easing his burden in 2018.
“Sometimes in life, things do not go according to plan.
So by way of an update, a new plan is required for the 2018 season - this will be away from the Jackson Racing Academy as I have released myself from our contract. We are now looking for a new opportunity if any one has any ideas please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thank you to all of our sponsors and supporters for your continued support and faith.
Daley (Nat & Daisy)”
You can contact Daley on his Facebook’s racing page: https://www.facebook.com/1438070977
(Mathison pictured here on his way to a podium finish in the 2017 Isle Of Man TT Zero race.)
MICHAEL DUNLOP AND TYCO BMW PREPARE FOR 2018 ROADS SEASON
Michael Dunlop will make his Tyco BMW roads bow this weekend at the Cookstown 100.
The Ballymoney man and 15 times Isle of Man TT winner surprised many when he sensationally switched to Tyco BMW from Hawk Racing Suzuki for the 2018 roads season.
Dunlop last contested the Cookstown 100 on board the much maligned Yamaha R1, but now that he is back on a BMW, a machine that took him to Senior TT victory and an outright TT lap record, it is reasonable to assume that he will start this season as a huge favourite for further roads glory.
This weekend will also see Dunlop race in the supersport class on board the MD Racing Honda CBR600RR.
Holding both lap records at Cookstown in the superbike and supersport classes, Dunlop should be confident of hitting the ground running and few would bet against the Ballymoney rider when racing gets underway.
Michael Dunlop’s lap records at Cookstown:
Supersport 600: 89.169mph set in 2011.
Superbike: 91.480mph set in 2013.
Michael Dunlop pictured testing on the Tyco BMW at Kirkistown.
Race fans look forward to Record Breaking KDM Hire Cookstown 100
For race fans the wait is almost over as the Cookstown 100 roads into action later this week. The season opener gets underway this coming Friday and Saturday with a vast array of talent on show.
Fans will see Michael Dunlop in his first outing with the Tyco BMW team, a partnership that should yield some top results. Dunlop has held the outright lap record around the Orritor circuit since 2013. He also holds the supersport lap record so fans will be expecting the Ballymoney man to be the rider to beat.
The main opposition for Dunlop in the eyes of many will be Cookstown Burrows Engineering Suzuki rider, Derek Sheils. The Irishman has won the premier class double for the past two seasons and will fancy his chances once more.
Joining Derek at Cookstown BE is teammate and rising roads star Davey Todd who impressed throughout his first roads season in 2017 and will expect to be fighting for honours on his Cookstown debut.
2017 man of the meeting and triple roads champ Derek McGee also provides opposition alongside William Dunlop, Adam McLean, Paul Jordan, Michael Sweeney, James Cowton, Shaun Anderson and Daniel Cooper.
Newcomers to Cookstown include Manx Grand Prix Winners, Darren Cooper and Dan Sayle (moto 3), Austrian Chris Meyer (moto 3). Kiwi Daniel Mettam will make his Irish roads debut, as will French riders Morgan Govignon and Nicloas Pautet. German riders Kenny Hink and Chris Eder and Canadian Mel Gantly are also newcomers to the event.
Guy Martin also returns to Cookstown and will contest the racing on board his own BSA Rocket 3.
Returning international riders include Takos Vassioios, Mattias Winkenjohann, Michael Dukopil, Veronika Hankocyvoa and Roger Chen.
Joesph Loughlin (Double Support champion 2017), Scotlands Adam Lyon ,Dominic Herbertson, Michael Browne, Darryl Tweed, Barry Lee Evans, Mike Norbury, will certainly be in the mix as well.
The 19 race programme starts on Friday evening after practices, where the organizing club hope to run the Senior Support B, Open B, and the 600 Invitation races.
Race fans will get to see Michael Dunlop and his MD Racing 600 PTR Honda and the TYCO BMW in action. The return of Guy Martin on his BSA Rocket Three will be a sight and sound worth witnessing and French rider Morgan Govignon will be bringing a rather special BMW to contest the Forgotten Era class.
The evergreen Chris McGahan also returns to Orittor with some Special Hondas for the 350 and 500 classic races. Also returning for the Classic races is another past winner, Scotlands Wattie Brown (500 Classic lap record holder).
Other notable riders in attendance are Maria Costello MBE, Melissa Kennedy, Sarah Boyes, Yvonne Montgomery, Veronika Hankocyova and newcomer Aileen Pinky Keenan.
Roads close on Friday at 12 noon, followed by the Newcomers practice Session, then 16 timed practice sessions each consisting of 5 laps.
Roads close on Saturday at 10.00am where the first race will be the Open Championship A race.
The future of road racing lies in the hands of paying spectators! The simple fact is that for too long spectators have been able to watch this exhilarating sport for FREE!!!
The Time has come for everyone to realise that ALL sports cost thousands of pounds to stage and a national league football match costs £30 for a mere 90mins of entertainment! Here at the KDM Hire Cookstown 100, the organizing club is asking EVERYONE to purchase a race programme AND donate towards the event!
There will be a team of ladies, the ‘Belles of Mid Ulster’, who will be going round on Saturday with buckets and we ask the race fans to please donate towards the total running costs of the event which will probably be close to £100k!
The Two days action will only cost you a mere £10. Purchase a Programme and this is your payment towards watching the weekends action! Is that too much to ask?
PLEASE SUPPORT THE KDM HIRE COOKSTOWN 100.
Follow updates on the run up to the event on the Official Cookstown 100 Facebook group, and at www.cookstown100.com
LEE JOHNSTON CHASING VICTORIES AT THE NORTH WEST 200
Three times Vauxhall International North West 200 race winner, Lee Johnston is intent on adding to his tally when racing gets underway around the world famous triangle circuit next month.
The Fermanagh rider is a huge fan favourite with a top class road racing pedigree and he is adamant that coming second isn’t good enough.
Johnston has teamed up with Honda Racing for the 2018 season moving away from his tried and trusted BMW machinery of recent years. So far the switch has brought with it some lost time in testing due to inclement weather, with the team now having to scramble ahead of the season opener on the North Coast.
“By now we should have had six days of testing with the bikes but rain has wiped out four of those.” the 29 year old explained. “I don’t see it as a major disadvantage.”
“I usually have at least one BSB outing before the North West but there is no similarity between road racing and a cold and wet Donington Park or Brands Hatch. There are pros and cons to the arguments about riding at the BSB meetings and the Oulton Park round might have been worth taking in but it is just too close to the North West.”
Johnston will ride a CBR1000RR in the Superbike and Superstock classes and a Padgett’s Racing Honda CBR600RR in both Supersport events.
The Vauxhall International North West 200 takes place from the 13th - 19th May 2018.
TT Legend for KDM Hire Cookstown 100
Isle of Man TT legend, Dan Sayle will make his KDM Hire Cookstown 100 debut in ten days time. The 8 times TT winner as sidecar ballast and 3 time Manx GP winner, Sayle will contest the Moto 3 class on his NSF 250 Honda.
Sayle, who also acted ballast for Michael Dunlop in his sidecar outings has a wealth of road race knowledge, having also competed at the Southern 100 and Classic TT.
Sayle’s entry in the moto 3 class will add to the quality for this race which will see Adam McLean make his moto 3 debut on board the JSR 250 Honda, along with similiarily mounted Paul Robinson. Throwing caution to the wind will be the two stroke machines of Derek McGee, (Joey’s Bar 125 Honda), local rider Nigel Moore and Austrian newcomer Chris Eder on his 125 FRR/KTM.
The moto 3 class is just one of the 19 races on the race card for the two day event, which starts on Friday 27th April, with roads closing at 12 noon.
Heading the record breaking entry list is Michael Dunlop, Tyco BMW/MD Racing Honda, last year’s man of the meeting, Derek McGee, winner of the Feature race for the past two years, Derek Sheils (Burrows Engineering Suzuki), William Dunlop Temple Golf Club/Caffery Racing,McAdoo Racings Adam McLean and James Cowton, along with exciting newcomers, New Zealands Daniel Mettam, European Supermoto championship leader, Davey Todd and Manx Grand Prix winner Darren Cooper are just a few of the entries received.
With the cost of road racing spiralling it is worth noting that if you plan on attending the event, please support the club by purchasing a programme.
SUPPORT THE SPORT TO SAVE THE SPORT
KDM Hire Cookstown 100 2018, Programme of Events.
Sunday 22nd April
Annual Bikers Service with Rev Noel Agnew.
Race Paddock, Orritor Rd
Thursday 26th April
Annual Classic Bike Run
Sign on from 6.30pm in Burn Road Car Park, Leaving at 7.30 pm
Friday 27th April
KDM Hire Cookstown 100 Practice Day
Roads Close at 12 noon
Saturday 28th April
KDM Hire Cookstown 100 Race Day
Roads Close at 10.00 am
Words and photo by Baylon McCaughey
GARY JOHNSON RETURNS TO THE 2018 VAUXHALL INTERNATIONAL NORTH WEST 200
Lincolnshire road racer Gary Johnson returns to the 2018 Vauxhall International North West 200 where he will ride for the RAF /Briggs Kawasaki.
After a year’s absence away from the event, Johnson will ride for Lee Hardy‘s team on board a Kawasaki ZX10RR in both the Superbike and Superstock races. He will also compete in the Supersport class on board his own 675cc Triumph; a machine which has previously provided him with a win at the Isle Of Man TT win in 2014.
37 year old Johnson raced for Lee Hardy‘s team at the 2017 Macau GP and with their backing he will be one to watch when the North West 200 kicks off in a few weeks time.
Bike week this year takes place on the 13th – 19th May, with the main race day on Saturday 19th.
BRUCE ANSTEY LOOKS SET TO MISS THE SEASON DUE TO ONGOING HEALTH ISSUES
Bruce Anstey is currently battling through serious health issues that look to keep him away from road racing for the entirety of the 2018 season.
The Kiwi is suffering from cancer and is currently waiting on a treatment plan which will start soon. The veteran rider has battled through and overcome cancer before.
Anstey rolled back the year’s last August when he took a truly spellbinding win in the superbike race at the Ulster Grand Prix. It was the highlight of the year for many.
The Padgetts Racing rider is a firm fan favourite and loved by all throughout the paddock, I’m sure I echo the wishes of everyone when I say, get well soon Bruce.
OLIVER’S MOUNT SPRING CUP CANCELLED
In what is a huge blow to the 2018 road racing season, racing at Oliver’s Mount has been cancelled.
A statement from the ACU had this to say:
“Following a comprehensive Risk Assessment of the Olivers Mount circuit, members of the ACU Road Race Committee met with Directors of Auto 66 / PMH Promotions in January this year and agreed additional safety improvements for the Olivers Mount Circuit.
A circuit inspection took place on 21st March 2018, as agreed, to find that the Organisers had not achieved all the improvements required by that deadline. The deadline was extended to Tuesday 27th March and then further extended to Friday 6th April.
With regret, the ACU are unable to provide a Course Licence for Olivers Mount circuit which means no Permit / Insurance can be issued for the Spring Cup Event due to take place on 20/21st April 2018.
The Organisers/Promoters in conjunction with the ACU and Scarborough Borough Council will work together to try and achieve events at the venue later in the year.”
MICHAEL DUNLOP TO MAKE TYCO BMW ROADS BOW AT THE KDM HIRE COOKSTOWN 100
Ballymoney roads star Michael Dunlop is set to compete at the 2018 KDM Hire Cookstown 100 where he will make his first outing with new team, Tyco BMW.
In what is a coup for the organisers, the 15-time TT winner will compete in both the open Superbike races on board the S1000RR, and the Supersport class on his MD Racing PTR Honda.
Derek Sheils has been the man to beat in recent years at Cookstown. Sheils has claimed the double in the superbike class in both 2016 and 2017, but with the addition of Dunlop he may not have it all his own way in 2018.
Star studded line up for 2018 KDM Hire Cookstown 100
TV Star Guy Martin is just one of the many star names entered for the 96th Cookstown 100, which takes place on fri/sat,27th/28th April. Following a rather ill fated season on board the Honda Fireblade, Guy will be on board his own 750 BSA Rocket three, contesting the Classic race.
Heading the fully subscribed entry list is Last years KDM Hire Cookstown 100 man of the meeting, Mullingars Derek McGee (McGee racing/Joeys Bar/B&W Site Sealants). Alongside McGee we have last years feature race Winner, Derek Sheils (Burrows Engineering Racing/SR 600 Yamaha), William Dunlop ( Temple Golf Club/Caffery Racing Yamahas) Michael Sweeney (MJ Racing), McAdoo racing duo, Adam McLean and James Cowtown, 2016 Man of the Meeting, Paul Jordan ( PJR Yamaha) and taking time off from his KTM Duties in Austria will be Banbridge rider Shaun Anderson.
Amongst the 41 Newcomers to the Orittor circuit, will be current European Supermoto Championship leader, Davey Todd who has signed for the local Cookstown/Burrows Engineering Team. Exciting prospect from New Zealand 21 year old Daniel Mettam, a former 600 NZ Champion who recently finished third in the NZ Superbike championships, Mettam will be on board machinery provided by well known race sponsor Billy McKinstry.
2017 Manx Grand Prix supertwin race winner Darren Cooper makes his debut for NW Racing. Whilst better known for his sidecar passenger performances around the famous Isle of Man TT Circuit, Manx rider Dan Sayle is another circuit debutant where he will compete in the Moto 3 class.
There is quite an international flavor for this event:
France: Morgan Govignon & Nicolas Pautet.
Germany: Kenny Hinks & Chris Meyer, Vassilios Takos & Matthias Winkleholm.
Austria; Chris Eder.
Czechlosvakia; Michael Dukopil &Veronika Hancokvy.
Canada; Mel Gantly.
Maria Costello, MBE, returns to Cookstown, alongside fellow female competitors;m, Melissa Kennedy, Sarah Boyes, Yvonne Montgomery and Veronika Hancokvy.
Along with last years Double Support champion, Joe Loughlin we have Adam Lyon, Daniel Cooper, Dominic Herbertson, Kris Duncan, Barry lee Evans and Mike Norbury; the entry list shows a great depth
of talent for this years event
With the KDM Hire Cookstown 100 being the first road race of the season, the club has received in excess of 190 entries, and is looking at a 19 race program!
With running costs continuing to increase, the club is appealing to the public, to BUY a Programme, AND Donate towards the event! The Total Running costs for this meeting will probably be just shy of £100k!
We are Appealing to the Public, PLEASE SUPPORT THE KDM HIRE COOKSTOWN 100, by Purchasing a Race Programme!
Members of the Cookstown & District MCC, pictured with New Zealand newcomer Danel Mettam, William & Gary Dunlop, and KDM Hire representatives, Rebecca Carson ( Service rep) and Alan Gillis ( K Cabin Manager)
Words and Photo: Baylon McCaughey
25 Round Duke Rankings Championship 2018
The 2017 Duke Road Race Rankings Championship gets underway over the
weekend of 21st and 22nd April at the Bob Smith Spring Cup Road Races taking place at the popular Oliver's Mount Course - the first of four meetings at the Scarborough venue this year.
The Duke Road Race Rankings now in its 17th year of competition, having first been run in 2002, has a total of 25 rounds this year held in Northern Ireland, Eire, England, the Czech Republic, Finland and Germany.
Over the 16 years of the Duke Road Race Rankings, seven overall winners have received the prestigious Geoff Duke Trophy.
Ian Lougher won in the first year and took the title again in consecutive years 2005 & 2006.
Ryan Farquhar won his first rankings title in 2003, retaining the number one slot in 2004, then after loaning out the trophy for three years dominated proceedings for the five years 2008 - 2012. Seven championships in total!
Manxman Conor Cummins took the honours in 2007; Michael Dunlop in 2013; Yorkshireman James Cowton 2014; William Dunlop 2015, with the title going to Yorkshire for the second time in 2016 in the hands of Dean Harrison, who retained his title in 2017, taking top spot in the rankings table from the first round, taking seven race wins from seven starts and putting in seven fastest laps and holding that position throughout the 25 rounds.
Dean’s racing statistics for 2017 Duke Road Race Rankings Championship are, 23 race wins, 2 second places, 5 third places, a further 6 top six placings and seventh places, plus 16 fastest laps, 4 record laps and 1 absolute lap record during the Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod. All of which earned him a total of 2506 points.
469 competitors scored ranking points over the 25 rounds run last year in the Duke Road Race Rankings, with Southern Ireland rider Joe Loughlin taking the Newcomers Award finishing ninth overall.
Northern Ireland riders claimed the Best Classic Only and Top Female places, Barry Davidson finishing 14th overall and Melissa Kennedy 160th.
Full details of the Duke Road Race Rankings can be found on Facebook:
Photo Jim McGann
MICHAEL DUNLOP CONFIRMED TO RIDE FOR FACTORY PATON SC-PROJECT REPRTO CORSE TEAM
Fifteen time TT Race winner Michael Dunlop will compete alongside Italian Stefano Bonetti on the Factory S1-R Lightweight Paton at the 2018 Isle of Man TT Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy.
For Dunlop, it will be only his third outing in the Lightweight race having only previously competed in the inaugural event of 2012 and 2017. Riding Kawasaki’s on both occasions, the first year saw him finish in an unfamiliar 13th but despite concentrating on setting up the new GSXR1000 Suzuki for the Superbike Races last year saw him be far more competitive.
Indeed, riding the McAdoo Racing-backed ER6 650cc Kawasaki, Dunlop finished in seventh place and lapped at 117.965mph in the process despite stopping with a technical fault at mid race distance and is sure to feature prominently this June on the factory-supported Paton.
Bonetti, meanwhile, secured his best TT result to date in 2016 when he finished fifth and was in contention for a podium last year before being forced to retire on the second lap. With a fastest lap of 118.498mph, the addition of Dunlop to the team is sure to benefit the Italian as well.
Speaking about the deal, SC-Project Team owners Stefano Lavazza said:
“We are extremely happy that a champion like Michael is joining our Paton SC-Project Reparto Corse Team. Our collaboration with him started last year just with the supply of an SC-Project exhaust for his MD Racing Yamaha R6 he won the Supersport TT with. Michael was satisfied with the product and he wanted to carry on our collaboration this year as well, with the supply of SC-Project exhausts for the S1000RR BMW and the CBR600RR Honda he will ride respectively in the Superstock and Supersport races."
“His skills are well known to everyone and we are well aware that a rider like Michael has the victory as his solely focus. It is an honour for us and for Paton to have the fastest TT riders ever riding for our Team. We are ready for the challenge of confirming Paton as the bike to beat on the Isle of Man"
Paton S1-R Lightweight Project Manager Roberto Pattoni added:
“To have Michael Dunlop onboard the purely Italian Paton is an honour. Some top riders got in touch with us and this shows how good we have worked in these past few years and that we can make the difference, thanks also to the acquisition by SC-Project. The Bonetti and Dunlop duo will be a key element to improve our S1-R and to confirm Paton as the fastest Lightweight at the Isle of Man TT. We are sure that even Pep (founder of the Paton factory and Roberto’s father) would have appreciated such a hot-blooded and passionate rider like Michael Dunlop. We can’t wait to start.”
Michael Dunlop said:
“It will be a real honour to represent the Paton factory at this year’s TT. I’ve managed to win races for five different manufacturers at the TT and I will be doing everything I can to make it six. I’m really looking forward to having a proper go at the Lightweight TT this year. It’s already looking like a really competitive race with the strongest field the race has had to date and if I’m on the top step at the end of the race I will have earned it.”