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Road Racer of the Year 2016 - 1st: Michael Dunlop

You place Michael Dunlop first in our Road Racer of the Year poll...

1ST – Michael Dunlop
Average poll score out of ten: 8.81
Team: Hawk Racing BMW/MD Racing
NW200 wins: 1
Podiums: 0
Isle of Man TT wins: 2
Podiums: 1
Ulster Grand Prix wins: 0
Podiums: 3
Macau Grand Prix: N/A

Michael Dunlop put a disappointing 2015 behind him in stunning fashion with a sublime Superbike and Senior double at the Isle of Man TT in June.

His success on the island this year was in stark contrast to his controversial split from the Milwaukee Yamaha team during practice at the event in 2015, when Dunlop's chances of adding more trophies to his cabinet were thwarted by a crash on the final lap of the Superbike TT, leaving him nursing injuries for the remainder of race week.

However, he more than made amends in 2016 with a powerhouse performance that put the Ulster rider back on his TT perch. The 27-year-old made history with the first ever sub-17 minute lap of the legendary Mountain Course from a standing start in the Superbike race, clocking a stunning speed of 133.369mph.

He then came within a whisker of an incredible 134mph lap in the blue riband Senior, raising the record to a red-hot 133.962mph as he once again saw off the challenge of BMW rival Hutchinson to complete a memorable brace.

Dunlop, who has now won 13 times at the TT – half of his uncle Joey's all-time record haul of 26 wins – also finished as the runner-up behind Hutchinson in the second Supersport race.

The Ballymoney man began the main international season in terrific style with a Superbike victory at the North West 200 in May, where he smashed Josh Brookes' outright lap record with a new speed of 123.207mph. At the Ulster Grand Prix, he finished second in the Superstock race and third in both Superbike races. Dunlop also bagged a double at the Classic TT, winning the Junior race and the feature Classic Superbike race.

He dominated the Southern 100 meeting at Billown on the Isle of Man in July, clinching a Superbike four-timer, which included his third win in the feature Solo Championship race on the Hawk Racing BMW.

His plans for 2017 are yet to be officially announced but Dunlop will return once more to the TT, where he will renew his rivalry with Hutchinson as he bids to retain his Superbike and Senior crowns.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Dunlop on the Hawk Racing BMW
Gary Johnson will run his own team at TT 2017.
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.
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.
Josh Brookes has signed to ride for Norton at the Isle of Man TT in 2017.
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.
Peter Hickman in action at the 50th Macau Grand Prix on the Bathams/SMT BMW.
Michael Rutter on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Martin Jessopp on the Riders Motorcycles BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.

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