Michael Dunlop may not race the 2014 road racing season if he cannot secure a ride on competitive machinery.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Dunlop said that he had “not signed any contracts for 2014 mainly due to various complications attached to each offer”, adding “sadly at this moment in time I will not be racing in 2014.”
Speculation has been rife after Dunlop’s former team manager, Honda TT Legends boss Neil Tuxworth, told Motorcycle News that they put “two or three deals to Michael but he turned them all down. Michael will not be with Honda next year. That is 100%. He decided that he didn’t want to stay with Honda.”
Since then, Dunlop, who scored 4 out of 5 wins at the 2013 Isle of Man TT, had been rumoured to be joining Milwaukee Yamaha for the 2014 season, but the team is now understood to be planning on running only two riders – Josh Brookes and the returning Ian Hutchinson – at the international road races.
“I have not signed any contracts for 2014 mainly due to various complications attached to each offer put to me,” Dunlop’s statement read. “I am disappointed to be in this situation, especially after the tremendous season I enjoyed in 2013 and the success I achieved. However, I am as keen as ever to go race motorbikes but sadly at this moment in time I will not be racing in 2014. If something materialises I might consider to come back if am ready and it’s the right package but till that i hope to be back in 2015 or if not 2016.”
“I have worked extremely hard to get to this level in road racing and unless I feel I have the right equipment and structure under me I won’t race at all,” he continued. “Thanks to everyone who has supported me through thick and thin there is to many to name but I will see them to express my thanks and I hope we’ll be back on the top step as soon as [I] am back.”