OFFICIAL: Michael Dunlop in factory Yamaha deal for 2015

Michael Dunlop with Mick Shanley, Team Manager, Milwaukee Yamaha
Michael Dunlop with Mick Shanley, Team Manager, Milwaukee Yamaha

Northern Ireland’s Michael Dunlop will ride factory-supported Yamaha machinery in the Milwaukee colours at this year’s Isle of Man TT races, fuelled by Monster Energy.

The 25-year-old from Ballymoney, who has claimed eight wins on the Mountain Course in the past two years to boost his TT tally to 11, will also compete for the Milwaukee Yamaha team at the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix.

Confirmation of the deal on Thursday ends long-running speculation over Dunlop’s plans after he was linked to a number of manufacturers, including Kawasaki and Suzuki and the Buildbase BMW team.

Dunlop, who made his TT debut in 2007 after winning the 2006 Manx Grand Prix Newcomers Race, has already won Superbike and Senior TT Races on Honda and BMW machines, as well as recording Superstock and Supersport wins on Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha machinery.

“I’ve gone on record as saying that I’ll only race if the package is right and in the Milwaukee Yamaha team I’m confident in both the bike and the support team that will be in place,” Dunlop said.

“We’ve already had a look at the bike that I’ll be riding and the early indications are really good but I’m looking forward just to getting out on the track and testing it properly.”

Dunlop also hopes to run Yamaha machinery in the Supersport and Superstock classes this season under his own MD Racing banner and as part of the Milwaukee deal, has been named as the team’s stand-in rider for the British Superbike Championship.

He will also be part of Yamaha’s Endurance World Championship team and is set to compete at selected rounds of the series including Le Mans and the Bol d’Or.

It’s also been reported that Dunlop will attend Yamaha’s official team launch at the end of February with MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

Dunlop, fifth on the all-time winners list, has lapped the TT circuit at 131.890mph, the fastest-ever standing start lap around the infamous course, which he set last June.

Shaun Muir’s experienced road racing team have enjoyed notable success at the TT including podiums with Guy Martin. They supported Josh Brookes and Ian Hutchinson in the 2014 TT and Conor Cummins and William Dunlop also rode for the team in 2013.

Team owner Muir said: “Michael Dunlop has proved himself to be the leading road racer over the last few years and his recent TT record is second to none. We are really confident that the new Yamaha will prove to be more than competitive on the Isle of Man and in Michael we have the rider to deliver its potential.”