11-time Isle of Man TT race winner Michael Dunlop has sensationally made the decision to leave the Milwaukee Yamaha team that he was contracted to ride at this year’s event.
Dunlop has made the switch to the Buildbase BMW team and will now ride the same BMW S1000RR machine that brought him success in 2014.
The 26-year-old will compete for the Buildbase team in the RST Superbike Race on Saturday 6 June, and also the Senior TT Race on Friday 12 June.
Dunlop also be riding his own MD Racing BMW in Monday’s Superstock Race and will contest the two Supersport Races on his MD Racing Honda.
Rumours had been circulating ever since the North West 200 that Dunlop was not happy with the Yamaha R1 machine and he made the decision to leave after yesterday’s first timed qualifying session. Dunlop could only manage to post a lap of 124.519mph, compared to the 128.641mph lap posted by Bruce Anstey on the Valvoline Padgett’s Honda.
Commenting on his decision, Dunlop said: “I would like to thank Milwaukee Yamaha for their support in bringing me into their team and I am genuinely sorry to be making this decision but unfortunately I don’t think there is enough time left with the sessions we’ve already lost at the TT to be truly competitive and get the bike to the level we need to in order to win races here.”
Despite moving onto a more competitive bike, Dunlop now faces a race against time to set up the S1000RR machine ahead of the opening Superbike race on Saturday.
Dunlop will only have this evening’s qualifying session, only the second timed session, and a practice session on Friday evening to adjust to his new machine and ensure he is competitive once again.