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Michael Dunlop earns factory Honda ride for roads

'This is a big opportunity for me with both Honda and Dunlop and it's an honour to be riding for them so I'm looking forward to getting started' - Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop has earned a factory ride with Honda for 2013 after being confirmed with John McGuinness and Michael Rutter in the Honda TT Legends team.

The 23-year-old Ulsterman has already won three TT races with privately-entered teams and now gets his chance to challenge for a coveted superbike victory at the Isle of Man TT on a works Fireblade.

Dunlop, 19-times TT winner McGuinness and Rutter will ride in the Legends colours at the North West 200 and TT.

McGuinness and Rutter will also be joined in the Endurance World Championship by Cameron Donald and Simon Andrews.

A delighted Dunlop said he was ready to seize the opportunity with both hands and he isn't fazed by the prospect of competing in the same team as TT hero McGuinness, who is closing in on his uncle Joey's all-time record of 26 wins on the Mountain circuit.

“This is a big opportunity for me with both Honda and Dunlop and it's an honour to be riding for them so I'm looking forward to getting started,” he said.

“People are asking me how it will be for me having John as a team-mate but when we get on the bike it will be the same.

“I get on well with John but I don't worry about anybody else when I'm on track,” he added.

“As a team we've got a great line-up with Rutter as well so it'll be a pretty good show.”

Morecambe ace McGuinness said: “I'm really pleased to be involved with the team again.

“For EWC, I know the tracks, I know the bike and we're ready to start upping our game even more.

“We've done well during the development stage over the last couple of years but this is the year for us to fight for the podium and challenge for the championship.

“As for the roads, it's second nature for me now. I love working with the same crew that I've been with for so many years,” added the 40-year-old.

“The whole package just works and I don't want to change that. I'm ready to get stuck in and hopefully get some more wins.”

Rutter is excited by the new challenge of competing in the Endurance World Championship, when his experience will be a huge asset to the team's chances.

“I'm really excited to be riding with the Honda TT Legends next year,” he said.

“Endurance is not something I have done before so that's going to be a great experience and I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do there.

“I've obviously got a history with the Louth-based team as I did BSB and the roads with them for a couple of years in 2004/2005, so I'm familiar with the Fireblade and I know the crew well.

“It will be good to be back with the team and I'm really happy to back with Honda.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
The Honda TT Legends team of Michael Dunlop, John McGuinness, Michael Rutter and Simon Andrews
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki in the Senior TT.
Peter Hickman in the Senior TT on the Smiths BMW.
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki in the Senior TT.
Bruce Anstey on his way to victory in the TT Zero race.
Guy Martin on the Honda Racing Superbike.
Jochem van den Hoek.
Michael Rutter took victory in the Lightweight TT on the Italian Paton.
Dan Kneen celebrates with his team after sealing his maiden Isle of Man TT rostrum in the Superstock race.
Ian Hutchinson celebrates his Superstock victory.
Ian Hutchinson on his way to victory in the Superstock TT on the Tyco BMW.
Davey Lambert in the RST Superbike race.
A Sidecar narrowly missed spectators in an incident that was captured in a video posted on YouTube.
James Hillier on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki in the opening Supersport TT race.
Michael Dunlop in the Supersport TT.
Michael Dunlop on his Yamaha in the Supersport TT.
Peter Hickman claimed his maiden podium at the Isle of Man TT with a runner-up finish in the RST Superbike race.
Michael Dunlop at the start of the RST Superbike race on the Bennetts Suzuki.

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