Michael Dunlop to ride Kawasakis at TT 2011

NEW RIDE FOR 2011:  Michael Dunlop launches his 2011 team with his Kawasaki ZX10 in Barry's Amusements at Portrush. Michael will have a World Superbike spec ZX10 Kawasaki supplied by Paul Bird Motorsport and run under his own banner for the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix in 2011. PHOTO: STEPHEN DAVISON

NEW RIDE FOR 2011: Michael Dunlop launches his 2011 team with his Kawasaki ZX10 in Barry's Amusements at Portrush. Michael will have a World Superbike spec ZX10 Kawasaki supplied by Paul Bird Motorsport and run under his own banner for the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix in 2011. PHOTO: STEPHEN DAVISON

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Ballymoney man to team up with Paul Bird’s WSBK team

MICHAEL Dunlop will ride Kawasakis provided by Paul Bird’s World Superbike team at this year’s TT, fuelled by Monster Energy.

Dunlop will compete on the ZX-10R in the Dainese Superbike, Royal London 360 Superstock and PokerStars Senior TT classes under his own Michael Dunlop Racing banner. He will again ride a Yamaha machine in the Monster Energy Supersport races in 2011.

The Northern Island racer will will also participate in the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix, as well as several national races.

A number of top teams were interested in acquiring the services of the 22-year-old, but the Ballymoney-based Dunlop felt that the package on offer from Paul Bird best suited his requirements.

‘I’m grateful to Paul for giving me this opportunity - it’s great to be riding for this team and have my own people on board again as well,’ said Dunlop.

‘There’s no reason why I can’t win big bike races on this bike and make a name for myself by following in the footsteps of my dad Robert and uncle Joey,’ he added.

Dunlop secured his first international win with a success in the 250cc class at the 2008 North West 200. He followed that up with a victory in Supersport TT race in 2009 and took two second positions and a third-place finish at last year’s TT, setting a new Supersport lap record of 127.836mph (17 minutes 12.30seconds) in the process. He finished runner-up in the overall TT championship to Ian Hutchinson.

Isle of Man TT motorsport manager Paul Phillips believes that this new deal will make Dunlop even more competitive. He commented:

‘Michael has already had a great TT career and has proved himself very competitive across all classes. This team could take him a step closer to winning one of the Superbike races.’

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