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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
Michael Rutter and Gary Johnson and will ride for the Smiths Triumph team at the Isle of Man TT
Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop testing his new BMW S1000RR Superbike at Mallory Park
Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop on his MD Racing Honda
John McGuinness
Cameron Donald
John McGuinness at the Isle of Man TT in 2013
William Dunlop tests the Tyco Suzuki Superbike at Cartagena in Spain
William Dunlop testing the Tyco Suzuki at Cartagena in Spain
Dan Hegarty on the Norton SG2 at the Isle of Man TT
Michael Dunlop - Buildbase BMW
John Surtees inducts John McGuinness to the Motor Sport Hall of Fame
William Dunlop
Danny Webb to race for Ryan Farquhar`s KMR Kawasaki in 2014 TT

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