Following on the agreement made in 2020 only for plans to be scuppered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM) is delighted to confirm 19-times TT winner Michael Dunlop will race one of the team’s formidable Ducati Panigale V4 RRs at the 2022 International North West 200 and 2022 Isle of Man TT Races.
The 32-year-old from Ballymoney in County Antrim will see the deal with the eight-times British Superbike champions and multiple NW200 and TT winners eventually come to fruition to race a factory-supported PBM Ducati in both the Superbike and Senior races at this year’s festival.
The last time the TT races ran in 2019, Dunlop won the Lightweight TT to add to his tally as the third most successful rider around the 37.73-mile course. He will race his own machines in the Supersport and Superstock events, but PBM will field the Ulsterman in the two main races as they look to add to their illustrious TT history.
The last time the Penrith-based team contested the Isle of Man TT Races was in 2015 when Ian Hutchinson scored a second in the Superbike TT and a third in the Senior TT as well as winning the Superstock TT race, all aboard PBM Kawasakis, to celebrate the team’s first major foray onto the Isle of Man for 12 years.
That success came after PBM previously contested the event with Ducati in 2003 when John McGuinness took second in the TT Formula 1 race and third in the Senior TT riding the MonsterMob-sponsored bikes.
Prior to that, Joey Dunlop – Michael’s uncle – famously won his last big bike TT for Paul Bird when he took victory in the 2000 TT Formula 1 race onboard a Demon Vimto Honda SP1, just a month before he was tragically killed in a race in Estonia.
PBM and Michael have worked together before when they prepared a Kawasaki ZX-10R for him to win the 2011 Superstock TT. Ducati’s current quickest lap at the TT is 128.717mph by Michael Rutter in 2011.
Michael will also race the PBM-prepared Ducati at the 2022 International North West 200 in Northern Ireland during the week commencing Monday 8th May.
John Mowatt, Team Co-ordinator: “We are delighted to be able to fulfil our promise and commitment to Michael albeit two years later than we had hoped. We are thrilled to be contesting the major road races with Michael onboard the PBM Ducati and are hopeful of adding to both his and our considerable list of successes.”
For further information, please visit the team’s website, www.pbmuk.net.