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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
William Dunlop will ride for the Davies Motorsport Team at the Classic TT
Michael Dunlop won the feature Superbilke race the Armoy Road Races from Guy Martin and Dean Harrison
Glenn Irwin and Christian Elkin with Ulster GP Clerk of the Course, Noel Johnston, and Supertwins race sponsors Maxwell Freight
William Dunlop leads Derek McGee and Derek Sheils in the feature Superbike race at the Walderstown Road Races
Guy Martin, Michael Dunlop and Dean Harrison on the Senior Race podium at the Southern 100
Guy Martin leads Michael Dunlop at the Southern 100
John McGuinness celebrates his Senior TT victory with runner-up James Hillier and Ian Hutchinson
John McGuinness in the TT Zero Challenge race on the Mugen
John McGuinness won the TT Zero Challenge race for Mugen
William Dunlop on the Tyco BMW
Michael Dunlop at the Isle of Man TT
Michael Dunlop on the Buildbase BMW at the Isle of Man TT
John McGuinness
Michael Dunlop on the Hawk Racing Buildbase BMW at the Isle of Man TT
Michael Dunlop on his MD Racing BMW at the Isle of Man TT
John McGuinness at the North West 200 on his Superstock Honda
Honda Racing`s John McGuinness

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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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