When the news broke on Thursday of Michael Dunlop been confirmed to pilot factory backed Paul Bird Motorsport Ducati machinery, at the North West 200 and TT Races, I’m sure various road racing insiders thought, this is going to make it extra interesting this season.
Now clearly lots of factors, tens at that have to align together for the Ducati package to succeed around the Triangle and in particular the Mountain Course.
Reliability unquestionably is top alongside every area being covered, top end speed, handling, durability, road holding, endurance.
The TT forms a distinct part of Ducati’s history and success this June would mean an awful lot to them.
Consistently front runners in BSB, WSB, Moto GP, various National Championships worldwide, a Superbike/Senior TT victory would add something unique to the Italian manufacturer’s 21st century racing portfolio.
Team/rider wise they have an ultra-potent line-up. Whilst Paul Bird Motorsport may have been absent from the TT paddock since 2015, they are proven winners, serious competitors.
When they enter any race worldwide, there is only one goal, victory. Same notion applies to new V4 R pilot Michael Dunlop.
Should Dunlop emerge victorious this summer, he will take his TT marques wins tally to seven, having already enjoyed success with Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, BMW and Paton.
Determined to reclaim his big bike TT crown, the works Ducati steed could be the golden ticket as he takes on current top Mountain Course speedster Peter Hickman.
If someone was to ask me now to predict how the Dunlop/Ducati combination will fare on the roads during 2022, my answer genuinely would be let’s wait and see.
There is so many questions to be answered, one thing is for sure though this week’s announcement has added to the increasing excitement of the TT, North West 200’s much welcomed return.
Photo via Michael Dunlop Twitter page
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou