11-time TT winner Michael Dunlop will ride his father’s Rotary Norton as part of the Joey Dunlop Rivals’ Parade Lap at the Classic TT.
The Ballymoney rider, who took a BMW to victory in the Senior TT for the first time in 75 years, will represent late father Robert Dunlop in the parade, joining a list of his uncle’s greatest rivals across both his road and circuit racing career.
One of the biggest giant-killing stories in the sport’s history, Norton’s Rotary Racing campaign began in 1987 with just a promising new engine and backing from Norton’s new owner. Making the brand’s return to racing, a scaled up version of the first racer, the air-cooled, twin-rotor engined RC588, was piloted by Simon Buckmaster and Trevor Nation to great success in the British Formula One Championship.
The following year, Steve Spray took the now John Player Special sponsored bike F1 Championship glory, harking back to the Player Norton days of the seventies and resulting in the now-iconic black, grey and gold livery of the new liquid-cooled RCW588.
Michael will ride the same bike that Robert took to a double victory at the 1990 North West 200, as well as finishing third in the F1 TT in the same year. To complete the tribute to his father, Michael will don specially created replica helmet and leathers.
Meanwhile, seven-times World Champion Carl Fogarty MBE has also confirmed he will be a part of the display, riding a Honda RC30 while also taking a Ducati around in the Classic TT Lap of Honour.
Foggy initially made his name in the Formula One World Championship, battling with Joey Dunlop in each of his championship winning years, and taking three victories, 750cc Production, Formula One and Senior TTs, at the Isle of Man TT between 1986 and 1992. However, his most memorable race came in 1992 when he finished second to Steve Plater in the Senior.
The pair swapped the lead multiple times throughout the six lap race, with Plater eventually taking the win by just 4.4 seconds. As a consolation, however, Foggy put in the outright lap record of 122.62mph on the final lap, a speed that would stand for seven years.
Since then, the Blackburn rider has gone on to become the most successful World Superbike racer of all time, taking four titles and 59 world championship race wins. His career was cut short by injury in 2000, but he still holds the Isle of Man in high regard, stating how his wins on the island remain the most special out of all of his subsequent championship successes.
“The Isle of Man holds a special place in my heart and I have said many times before that it was that part of my career which I look back on with the most happiness and pride,” said Foggy. “I can’t wait to see the new Classic TT event for myself after hearing good things about last year’s first event and I am particularly excited to be part of the tribute to Joey Dunlop. Joey was a special rider and someone I looked up to and wanted to beat in those early World Championship years.”