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Road Racer of the Year 2015 - 7th: Michael Dunlop

You place Michael Dunlop seventh in our Road Racer of the Year poll...
7th – Michael Dunlop
Average poll score out of ten: 6
Team: Milwaukee Yamaha/Buildbase BMW/MD Racing
NW200 wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Isle of Man TT wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Ulster Grand Prix wins: 0
Podiums: 2
Macau Grand Prix: N/A

Michael Dunlop's red-hot winning streak at the Isle of Man TT came to an end in 2015, with the 26-year-old controversially splitting from Milwaukee Yamaha during TT practice week and renewing his ties with the Buildbase BMW team.

Dunlop had previously made history with back-to-back four-timers in 2013 and 2014 to extend his tally of TT wins to 11, but the Northern Ireland rider left the island empty-handed in June after a tumultuous fortnight.

Despite limited practice time on the Buildbase BMW, Dunlop was holding third place in the RST Superbike TT when he crashed out on the final lap after tangling with a slower rider, blowing his chance of a certain rostrum.

The battered and bruised Ulsterman regrouped and put up a valiant fight to push Ian Hutchinson all the way in the Superstock TT, but in the end he had to settle for the runner-up spot behind the rejuvenated Bingley Bullet.

Dunlop though, refused to bow out without a fight and served a timely reminder of his class around the Mountain Course as he became the second fastest rider ever with a lap of 132.515mph, which he set on his way to fifth place in the blue riband Senior. However, he did return to the top step at the legendary course after winning a dramatic Formula 1 Classic TT in September from Bruce Anstey.

At the North West 200, Dunlop's best finish was second in the opening Supersport race and fourth in the Superstock event.

He was in the thick of the action at the Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod, but an international win at one of the 'big three' road races eluded him as he finished third in the Superstock race and completed the podium places in the second Superbike race behind Peter Hickman and Conor Cummins.

Dunlop did seal a Superbike victory at the Southern 100 but crashed out of the feature Solo Championship event as he prepared to challenge eventual winner Guy Martin.

At the Irish National meetings, he won the showpiece 'Race of Legends' race on his home patch at Armoy for the fifth year in succession and clinched a Superbike double in the final event of the season at Killalane near Dublin.

Do you agree with the poll results? If not, why not? Leave your comments below...

About the vote:
Thousands of votes were cast for the 2015 Crash.net Road Racer of the Year poll, where viewers awarded a shortlist of this season's most impressive riders with a mark out of ten.

Related Pictures

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Michael Dunlop on the Hawk Racing Buildbase BMW at the Isle of Man TT
Lee Johnston has teamed up with Ryan Farquhar to race a KMR Kawasaki in the NI Air Ambulance colours at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
Alastair Seeley with the Tyco BMW he will race at the North West 200.
John McGuinness on the Jackson Racing Honda.
Michael Dunlop, Carl Cox, [Credit: Holeshot PR]
Michael Dunlop has signed for Bennets Suzuki for the 2017 international road races.
Michael Dunlop has signed for the Bennett Suzuki team for 2017.
Guy Martin, John McGuinness Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Guy Martin, Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Josh Brookes has signed to ride for Norton at the Isle of Man TT in 2017.
Dan Kneen has signed for the Penz13.com Racing Team for the 2017 road races.
Dan Hegarty won the TT Privateers Championship in 2016.
Peter Hickman will ride for Smiths Racing in 2017 at the international road races and in the British Superbike Championship.
Peter Hickman won the Macau Grand Prix for the second year running on the Bathams/SMT BMW.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.
Peter Hickman on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Peter Hickman on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.

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