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Michael Dunlop eyes TT superbike victory
3 December 2012
New Honda TT Legends signing Michael Dunlop has vowed to make the most of his chance in the factory team at the Isle of Man TT in 2013.
The 23-year-old, who already has three victories on the Mountain Course, has set himself a target of winning a prestigious superbike race at the event.
His three victories to date include two wins in the Supersport class in 2009 and 2012 plus a victory in the Superstock race last year.
And now the hard-riding Ulsterman feels he is ready to take the next step and add a victory in the Superbike or Senior races at the TT next June, when he'll have to become the first rider in nine years to beat teammate John McGuinness in the premier class to achieve his feat.
But Dunlop has every belief in his ability and isn't fazed in the slightest by the challenge ahead.
“The main thing about this deal is that it will make my life a lot easier next season,” he said.
“I'll have plenty of testing on the bike before the North West 200 and the TT and I'll have a team around me working on the bike, so that will let me just get on with the job.
“The bike's got a factory engine, it's got a great chassis for the TT and reliability is a big thing as well.
“I'm on Dunlop tyres, so everything's in place. Honda is involved with me next year because they feel I can win a big bike race at the TT and I will win it for them,” he told the Belfast News Letter.
“Everywhere you look history seems to be repeating itself for the Dunlops.
“The story just keeps going and it's great to see it.
“I'm looking forward to next year, it's a big opportunity for me and I want to grab it with both hands and see what I can make of it.”
Dunlop will ride the Legends Fireblade at the North West 200 and TT in 2013 but will also run his own 600cc and Superstock Hondas.
He will also return to the Ulster Grand Prix, where he will ride the Hunts Honda Fireblade in the superbike races.
Michael Rutter is also part of the three-man roads line-up with Dunlop and McGuinness for the NW200 and TT, while Aussie Cameron Donald and Simon Andrews remain with the team for the Endurance World Championship along with McGuinness and Rutter.
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