TAS Racing casts doubt on Michael Dunlop Superbike ride at Cookstown 100

Northern Ireland's SYNETIQ BMW team has cast doubt on Michael Dunlop's appearance at the Cookstown 100 in September on the M1000RR Superbike.

By Kyle White
Friday, 13th August 2021, 12:04 am

An official press statement issued on behalf of the organisers on Thursday said Dunlop was set to ride the SYNETIQ BMW at the event alongside his own MD Racing Supersport Yamaha.

However, the Moneymore-based TAS Racing team stated on their Twitter account on Thursday night: "We enjoyed success with Michael Dunlop at Armoy.

"But despite media speculation we have no immediate plans to compete at any additional national road races this season.

Michael Dunlop on the SYNETIQ BMW at the Armoy Road Races at the end of July.

"If that changes we will let you know....right here!"

Ballymoney man Dunlop claimed five wins from five starts at the opening Irish road race of the season, which included victory in the blue riband ‘Race of Legends’ for the ninth time on the spin.

Riding the new SYNETIQ BMW, Dunlop also shattered his eight-year-old outright lap record on the M1000RR machine to cap a stunning return to road racing for the first time since the 2019 Classic TT.

The Co Tyrone meeting from September 10-11 will be the final Irish national road race of another season decimated by cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dunlop last raced at the Cookstown 100 in 2018, taking a win in the Supersport class on a Honda CBR600RR.

However, his last success in the Superbike class at the event was back in 2013, when he clinched a double, twice getting the better of old sparring partner Guy Martin.

The 19-time Isle of Man TT winner has used his time away from road racing to get over the injuries he suffered in 2019, most notably following a heavy crash at the Southern 100.

His show-stealing performance at Armoy underlined a return to top form for Dunlop, who now hopes 2022 will herald a return for the major road racing events such as the North West 200, TT and Ulster Grand Prix.

“This year has been a hard year and people have been wanting to see racing again, but at the same time Covid has been killing people and we have to respect the virus,” he said.

“It’s been challenging times but hopefully we will get the big events back on next year.

“The TT has been pushing hard to get bigger and better, there’s talk about trying to bring back the ‘Ulster’, and the North West is pushing on.

“Maybe a couple of years off might help those events or maybe it will hinder them, I don’t know, but hopefully it can come back bigger and better.”

The Cookstown 100 will again be run as a closed event, with restrictions in place. Entry to the course will be strictly by admission wristband, which can be purchased as part of a race package, including event programme, costing £25.

These are on sale now and further information is available on the Cookstown 100 website at www.cookstown100.org.

Race packages will remain on sale until Friday, August 20.