Michael Dunlop fires Isle of Man TT warning for 2022
Michael Dunlop says he will be in a ‘stronger position’ to fight for more Isle of Man TT wins next year with an enforced break from the sport allowing his injuries to fully heal.
The Ballymoney man injured his wrist in 2019 prior to the North West 200 and Dunlop later suffered injuries including a broken pelvis after a crash at the Southern 100.
He still added to his haul of TT wins in 2019, with a second successive win on the Italian Paton in the Lightweight race giving him 19 victories in total, and an incredible 50 for Northern Ireland’s legendary Dunlop racing dynasty.
The TT and North West 200, plus almost every Irish national road race, were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic last year and again in 2021, but Dunlop is taking the positives from the situation.
Speaking during the announcement of major new changes for the TT over the next few years Dunlop said: “It’s been good, I’ve got time to heal from my injuries and in 2019 I suffered a lot from injury.
“The body has got time to heal again and it leaves myself in a stronger and better position where I can be fit and battle again.”
The Lightweight race will become known as the Supertwin TT from next year and the class will benefit from two races as part of the proposed new race schedule from 2023.
Dunlop, who has won the last two Lightweight TT’s on the Paton and holds the lap record in the class, gave a cautious welcome to new changes set to be introduced for Supertwin machines, which will permit twin-cylinder bikes up to 700cc – such as the Aprilia RS660 and the Yamaha MT-07 and YZF-R7 – to enter the class.
“It’s always good to get more people involved but at the same time we need to keep the rules on the straight and narrow, and if everybody is on a fair playing field it’ll be good for everything,” said Dunlop.
“Obviously people concentrate on the modern four-strokes but this might help bring a couple more people in (to the Supertwin races), I’m not quite sure, but with more races the TT is definitely trying to push things on and keep it running forward and that’s the main thing.
“I think the people who are running at the front on the twins are running at the front on the big bikes.
“Some people spend all year riding twins but the likes of myself, I just rock up to the TT and ride a twin straight off the bat.
“So I think you’ll get a lot more people who ride Supertwins day in, day out, but the modern TT lads just rock up at the time and do it.”
Next year’s TT races are due to take place from May 29 to June 10.
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