Road Racing News

Paton Bolster Lightweight TT Challenge By Signing Mountain Course Maestro Dunlop

Reigning Lightweight class champion’s Paton, TT 2018 challenge will see them join forces with none other than 15 times TT winner Michael Dunlop, who joins Italy’s fastest Mountain Course exponent Stefano Bonetti, within the SC Project ran factory team.

Not vastly noted for his capabilities on Super Twins machinery, Ballymoney’s Dunlop best TT finish to date aboard a 650 Twin, stands thus far as a seventh place finish in last years four lap Bennetts Lightweight encounter.

A TT winner aboard Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda, BMW and Suzuki machinery, could early June see him add a Mountain Course triumph aboard the S1-R Paton?

Obviously it’s a possibility, you can never ever discount the 27 times international road race winner, in any race that he competes in, given his fierce determination, natural talent and a will to win, that for many exceeds any of the current TT competitors.

The three times Senior TT winner, knows only to well though the standard of competition in the Lightweight class, which this year for the first time will include his good friend John McGuinness, plus fellow Paton mounted competitors Joe Thompson/Ian Lougher, Peter Hickman, Derek McGee, Dafabet Devitt Racing’s Ivan Lintin, Martin Jessopp, Dan Cooper and McAdoo Racing’s James Cowton.

Commenting via Paton’s official website, on securing quite a coup for the SC Project Paton team, by signing the first racer to lap the Mountain Course at under 17 minutes, Team Owners Stefano Lavazza and Marco De Rossi stated:

“We are extremely happy that a champion like Michael is joining our Paton SC-Project Reparto Corse Team. Our collaboration with him started last year just with the supply of an SC-Project exhaust for his MD Racing Yamaha R6, which he won the Supersport TT with.

Michael was satisfied with the product and he wanted to carry on our collaboration this year as well, with the supply of SC-Project exhausts for the S1000RR BMW and the CBR600RR Honda he will ride respectively in the Superstock and Supersport races.

His skills are well known to everyone and we are well aware that a rider like Michael has only race victory as his sole focus. It is an honour for us and for Paton to have one of the fastest TT riders ever riding for our Team. We are ready for the challenge of confirming Paton as the bike to beat again on the Isle of Man.”

Paton’s Roberto Pattoni and Andrea Realini, added their response to the huge news for the popular Italian brand:

“To have Michael Dunlop on board the purely Italian Paton is an honour. Some top riders got in touch with us and this shows how good we have worked in these past few years, and that we can make the difference, thanks also to the acquisition by SC-Project.

The Bonetti and Dunlop duo will be a key element to improve our S1-R, and to confirm Paton as the fastest Lightweight at the Isle of Man TT.

We are sure that even Pep (Giuseppe Pattoni, founder of the Paton company) would have appreciated such a hot blooded and passionate rider like Michael Dunlop. We can’t wait for TT 2018 to start!.”

Words by Stevie Rial

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