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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
Guy Martin on the Honda Fireblade at the Isle of Man TT.
Dean Harrison, Dan Kneen and Michael Dunlop at the Southern 100.
Michael Dunlop at the Classic TT
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki in the Senior TT.
Peter Hickman in the Senior TT on the Smiths BMW.
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki in the Senior TT.
Bruce Anstey on his way to victory in the TT Zero race.
Guy Martin on the Honda Racing Superbike.
Jochem van den Hoek.
Michael Rutter took victory in the Lightweight TT on the Italian Paton.
Dan Kneen celebrates with his team after sealing his maiden Isle of Man TT rostrum in the Superstock race.
Ian Hutchinson celebrates his Superstock victory.
Ian Hutchinson on his way to victory in the Superstock TT on the Tyco BMW.
Davey Lambert in the RST Superbike race.
A Sidecar narrowly missed spectators in an incident that was captured in a video posted on YouTube.
James Hillier on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki in the opening Supersport TT race.
Michael Dunlop in the Supersport TT.

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