Michael Dunlop has confirmed he is “currently considering options” for his Superbike ride at the Isle of Man TT for 2018 and will enter his own Superstock and Supersport machines as an independent entry.

The 16-time Isle of Man TT winner charged to victory in last year’s Senior TT for the Hawk Racing-run Bennetts Suzuki squad, having also led the earlier Superbike TT race before being forced to retire with a technical issue, and had been in negotiations to return to action for the team in 2018.

In a statement released by Dunlop, the 28-year-old has announced he’s opted not to renew his contract with Hawk Racing and is currently assessing his options in the Superbike class for the upcoming campaign. Dunlop says he will enter his own bikes into the Superstock and Supersport races this year.

“I'd like to clarify my current position regarding the upcoming road-racing season,” Dunlop said in a statement. “I will be contesting the Superstock and Supersport classes at the Isle of Man TT and other events on my own MD Racing machines.

“I have not renewed my contract with Hawk Racing however, I am currently considering my options for the Superbike class and will confirm my plans when something is sorted.

“I'd like to thank Stuart and Steve for their support over recent years where we have shared a lot of success together.”

Reports have linked Dunlop to a return to BMW Superbike machinery for 2018 having swept to victory in the Superbike TT and Senior TT races on the Island in 2016 and setting new lap records in the process.