Michael Dunlop, likely the top-rated rider at the Isle of Man TT, still doesn’t have a Superbike ride for 2020, according to his Facebook page.
Dunlop, of the famous street circuit racing family of northern Ireland, has 19 wins and 29 podiums at the TT, and is likely to rack up more if he’s on the right ride. He’s returning this spring under his MD Racing banner to race Superstock and Supersport, but at this point, it’s unsure if he’ll be in the Superbike class. The TT is not that far off, and he still hasn’t signed with a team for this year.
A statement on his Facebook page reads “Despite all the rumours flying around about who I will be riding for this year I can confirm that I currently have no agreement in place to ride a Superbike for this season and i’m open to proposals. I will be doing my own thing for the supersport and superstock classes under the md racing banner as usual as that has proved to be a good way of doing things but we would always welcome new sponsors who are looking to partner with a successful team.”
Dunlop had a bad crash at the Southern 100 last year, breaking his pelvis, which kept him out of other racing he had planned for 2019. Perhaps that’s scaring some teams away. It could also be that street circuit racing has generally been seeing hard times lately, with some of the smaller events in the UK and Ireland either shutting down, or being rumoured to be on the brink of shutdown. With financial instability increasing, some teams may be debating whether it’s worth continuing at all.
Great Michael Dunlop article; part of the BBC ‘Long Read’ series. Here: