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William Dunlop in Norton deal for 2015 Classic TT

Road racing star will ride original 588 Rotary Norton in Formula 1 race with backing from National Motorcycle Museum
William Dunlop will ride a rotary Norton at the 2015 Classic TT for the newly formed Team National Motorcycle Museum Racing.

The Ulster rider will compete on one of the museum's original and iconic machines from the 1992 British Championship season in the Motorsport Merchandise Formula Race on Monday, August 31.

The museum, based in the West Midlands, is home to the largest collection of British Motorcycles in the world with over 100 marques including BSA, Ariel and of course Norton.

The deal rekindles memories of the success achieved by William's late father and road racing legend Robert on the JPS Norton in the 1990s, wen he bagged a Superbike double at the North West 200 and finished third in the Formula One race at the Isle of Man TT.

“With my father's history on the bike this was too good an opportunity to turn down. It was his favourite bike as it was a real challenge to ride and the Isle of Man will be a great place to race it,” said Dunlop, who spearheads Tyco BMW's international road racing challenge this year alongside Guy Martin.

“The Classic TT is now my favourite meeting of the year so I'm particularly excited to be on the Norton.”

Brian Crighton, the original Rotary Norton engineer, who will be joining Team National Motorcycle Museum for the Isle of Man project, said he faced similar challenges to those faced by Steve Hislop, who famously won the Senior TT after a sensational race against Carl Fogarty in 1992.

“This bike was originally designed and conceived for short circuit racing so we have a lot of work to do to adapt it for the challenges of the TT Mountain Course which is a unique and hard place to race,” he said.

“The challenge that we are facing is very similar to the challenge that the Norton faced in 1992 adapting Steve Hislop's bike.”

As well as the Motorsport Merchandise Formula 1 Race, the museum will also be supporting the 'Norton the Rotary Years' parade lap presented by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Scheduled for Monday, August 31, 15 Rotary Nortons will appear on the Mountain Course ridden by some of the original riders associated with the brand including Trevor Nation and Steve Spray.

John McGuinness will represent Hislop on the 588 NRS Norton in the parade and all of the bikes will also be on display throughout the four days of the Classic TT festival.

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William Dunlop will ride a rotary Norton at the Classic TT

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