Following last week's pre-season testing in France and Spain, it has been announced that Michael Dunlop will join the Honda TT Legends line-up for the two 24-hour races in the 2013 World Endurance Championship, which kicks off in April with the Bol d'Or.
The three-time Isle of Man TT winner was previously due to compete in the team's road racing programme alone, but following the departure of Cameron Donald from the EWC line-up and the test sessions last week, he has been given the role of fourth rider for the Bol d'Or and Le Mans 24-hour races alongside John McGuinness, Simon Andrews and Michael Rutter.
Dunlop will also act as reserve rider for the Suzuka 8-hour, however he will only attend the Japanese event should McGuinness, Andrews or Rutter be unable to compete. He will not be involved in the Oschersleben 8-hour as the race clashes with the Ulster Grand Prix, in which Dunlop will compete with his own team.
“It's a great opportunity for me to join the EWC side of the Honda TT Legends as well as doing the road racing,” said Dunlop. “I spent a decent amount of time with the crew in France and Spain last week and put a good few laps on the bike, so I already feel like part of the team.
“I've not done endurance racing before but I'm sure I'll get to grips with the short track laps soon enough. Spending more time on the bike can only be a good thing in terms of bike fitness, and that all helps on the roads so I'm looking forward to getting stuck in.”
Team manager Neil Tuxworth added: “We were very impressed with Michael's approach to testing, his consistency and the information he was able to feed back to the team. In addition, with the efforts he has made with his training and physical fitness so far, we feel he deserves the opportunity to become the fourth member of the EWC team.”
The next outing for the Honda TT Legends team will be the official pre-Bol d'Or test at Magny Cours on 20/21 March.