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Michael Dunlop welcomes plans for Manx GP overhaul

'It would be great to see the Honda RC30 back out there on the Mountain again and the Norton was around in that era too, so imagine if that was back out there ripping the hedges out' - Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop has welcomed plans for a revamp next year's Manx Grand Prix on the Isle of Man, which will incorporate three rebranded Classic TT races.

Dunlop, who won the Classic Superbike event on a Suzuki XR69 at the event last month, said the popular festival was overdue an overhaul to breathe new life into the current model.

The Manx Motor Cycle Club and the Department of Economic Development (DED) have reached agreement on how the event should be progressed in the future, when the key change is the inclusion of three Classic TT races, which will be held on the Saturday and August Bank Holiday Monday at the beginning of race week.

The traditional Manx GP races for modern machines are scheduled to run on the Wednesday and Friday of the two-week festival, with practice for all classes being held as normal during the first week.

A new-look race programme and regulations will be introduced under the proposals, including races for the traditional MGP 500cc and 350cc classes, rebranded as Classic TT races, along with new Formula 1 and Formula 2 Classic TT races.

The Formula 1 and Formula 2 events would run concurrently, representing the original FIM World Championship classes of the same title from the late 1980s and early 1990s and opening the MGP to a new generation of machinery, including iconic bikes such as the Honda RC30, Kawasaki ZXR-750, Yamaha OW01, Suzuki GSX-R 750 and Ducati 888.

Some of the current top stars from the TT are also being lined up to compete at the Manx, including Mountain legend John McGuinness.

Three-times Manx GP winner Dunlop told the Belfast News Letter: “I think it's good that people are starting to look at the bigger picture for the Manx Grand Prix and although some people won't like to hear this, the event needed a lift.

“It was flat this year and there was no-one there and I wasn't for going back again, so it's good that it's changing.

“Not everyone will be happy, but it will help the Manx in the long run because it will bring more people to the event.

“It would be great to see the Honda RC30 back out there on the Mountain again and the Norton was around in that era too, so imagine if that was back out there ripping the hedges out,” he added.

“They are great bikes and the fans would come to see them, especially if you've got some of the top TT men on them.”

The proposals also include the potential for a four-day festival of motorcycling nostalgia to support the Classic TT races.

This would feature period events, exhibitions of exotic classic racing motorcycles, chat shows and autograph sessions with legendary riders, plus parade laps, air displays, vintage motorcycle club events and family entertainment.

The new regulations for the 2013 MGP are due to be released by the end of this month to enable potential new competitors and teams the maximum amount of time possible to prepare for the inaugural Classic TT races.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Dunlop on his way to victory in the Classic Superbike race at the Manx Grand Prix
Dean Harrison, Dan Kneen and Michael Dunlop at the Southern 100.
Michael Dunlop at the Classic TT
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki in the Senior TT.
Michael Rutter took victory in the Lightweight TT on the Italian Paton.
Michael Dunlop in the Supersport TT.
Michael Dunlop on his Yamaha in the Supersport TT.
Michael Dunlop at the start of the RST Superbike race on the Bennetts Suzuki.
William Dunlop on the IC Racing Yamaha at the Isle of Man TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki at the bottom of the Barregarrow during TT practice.
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki during practice for the Isle of Man TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki.
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki.
Honda Racing riders John McGuinness and Guy Martin
Michael Rutter on the Bathams BMW at the North West 200
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki at the North West 200
Michael Rutter with Ryan Farquhar and Jeremy McWilliams at the North West 200 in 2012.
William Dunlop on the Temple Golf Club Yamaha R1.

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Wotan - Unregistered

October 18, 2012 7:22 AM

Splitting the event into a game of 2 halves is great. I'm not interested in moderns so next year will cost just 3 days off work as I'm not staying after the Tuesday when the classics finish.Silly of the organisers not to see this coming so how they think shorter stays will bring the Isaland more revenue defeats me.

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