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Michael Dunlop will make Sidecar debut at Scarborough

'We're going out for a bit of a laugh and it won't be anything too serious. I just can't decide that I'm going to race a Sidecar at the TT next year because it's a big decision to make' - Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop will make his Sidecar race debut at this weekend's Gold Cup meeting at Scarborough in North Yorkshire.

Dunlop will be joined by Isle of Man TT-winning passenger Dan Sayle and the pair will compete for ex-TT star Nick Crowe's F2 team at the 2.43-mile Oliver's Mount circuit.

Last November, 23-year-old Dunlop tested Crowe's Sidecar at Jurby on the Isle of Man alongside Manxman Sayle, when the Ballymoney man earned the praise of his peers as he quickly adapted to the machine, lapping quicker than Sidecar World champion Tim Reeves.

Dunlop - who has previously stated his desire to win a Sidecar race at the Isle of Man TT - told the Belfast News Letter: “I'll be joining up with Dan at Scarborough and we'll take a run out and see how we get on.

“We're going out for a bit of a laugh and it won't be anything too serious.

“I just can't decide that I'm going to race at the TT next year because it's a big decision to make and it will depend on what I'm doing next year,” he added.

“There's a lot of work involved at the TT and if I was riding a Superbike for someone else then I'd have to put that first.”

Reeves, who competed for Nick Crowe Racing (NCR) this season and achieved a runner-up finish at the TT, yesterday confirmed he has parted company from the team.

In a statement issued last night, Reeves - who recently clinched his fourth World F1 Sidecar crown - said: “Recent events have left me very disappointed and having enjoyed a number of successful outings with NCR in 2012, I was very much looking forward to continuing with them next year and challenging for honours at the Isle of Man TT.

“However, that will not now be the case and instead, I will pursue this goal with a new team and passenger and with the continued support of all my loyal sponsors.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dave and Fran Hudspeth for their fantastic support during the year and hope that we can work together again in the future.”

The statement added that Reeves had hoped to compete at Scarborough in Crowe's outfit before learning that Ulsterman Dunlop would be driving the Sidecar alongside Sayle via a social media website.

As a result, Reeves “subsequently made the decision to part with the team”, the statement said.

In response, Dunlop added: “If Tim has decided to go down that road that's up to him - it's nothing to do with me or anyone else.

“I'm there to drive the car at Scarborough and that's it.”

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Michael Dunlop, Carl Cox, [Credit: Holeshot PR]
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September 14, 2012 4:49 PM

What a strange decision by Crowe's team! Michael's priority will always be two wheels, and I wouldn't be surprised if he never drove a sidecar outfit again after Scarborough. Reeves, on the other hand, lives and breathes sidecars and would have given 100 percent all through next season. It seems barmy to lose all that comitment for the sake of what might be a disappointing one-off jaunt. Oh, and Olivers Mount is bloody narrow even for bikes, with steep drop-offs, and it will only take a slight mistake from a novice Dunlop to cause real carnage.

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