Michael Dunlop is set to take on a new challenge in 2020 after two seasons in the Superbike class with Northern Ireland’s Tyco BMW team.
The Ballymoney man won the Superbike race at the Isle of Man TT in 2018 for the Moneymore-based TAS Racing outfit in tragic circumstances after his team-mate, Manx rider Dan Kneen, was killed during a crash in practice.
Dunlop increased his tally of TT wins to 19 in June as he clinched his second consecutive victory in the Lightweight class on the Italian Paton machine.
However, the 30-year-old was out of rostrum contention in the blue riband Superbike and Senior races, with injury hindering his chances.
England’s Peter Hickman has become the dominant force in international road racing and it is understood the Smiths Racing team will receive increased support from BMW next season, although TAS Racing will still be the German manufacturer’s official representatives in the British Superbike Championship.Christian Iddon and Ulsterman Keith Farmer have not been retained for next season, but young prospect Bradley Ray and Taylor Mackenzie will spearhead the BSB challenge, with confirmation of the line-up announced on Saturday at Motorcycle Live at the NEC in Birmingham.
Scotsman Mackenzie rode the Tyco BMW at the final rounds of the championship this season at Donington Park and Brands Hatch after Glenn Irwin parted company from the team.
Irwin, who had split from the Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki team, was filling in for the injury-hit Farmer.
The Carrick man will join his brother Andrew at Honda Racing next year to ride the all-new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade, with Irwin also confirmed to make his debut at the Isle of Man TT.
UPDATE: On Sunday, it was confirmed at Motorcycle Live at the NEC in Birmingham that the Smiths Racing team and Peter Hickman have taken over as BMW Motorrad's official international road racing representatives in 2020.