“Obviously it would great to win here and it would set us up nicely for the TT because everything runs on towards the TT from here.”
Dunlop's dad Robert remains the most successful rider ever at the NW200 with 15 wins, but Michael feels the road racing legend – tragically killed at the event in 2008 – would have reached in excess of 20 victories on the 'Triangle' circuit had his career not be so adversely affected by his infamous crash on the exit of Ballaugh village at the TT in 1994.
“My dad was so good around here because he was fast and smooth and obviously I think if he'd had a few more years riding Superbikes then his tally would have been through the roof had it not been for his crash at the TT,” he said.
“At the time he was winning three races at the North West every year, so if he'd even managed that for another two years after '94 he would have easily been over 20 wins.
“He managed it at a time when Superbike riders were Superbike riders as well, when the bikes were all over the place and not the best handling things out there.
“I've a long way to go to get anywhere need that record of my dad's so I'd need to get my finger out,” he said.