Paul Bird has added his name to the increasingly long roster of team bosses that don’t have Michael Dunlop on their Christmas wish list in 2014.
The Penrith chicken magnate, who has his MCE British Superbike and roads teams in place for next season, says that Dunlop’s manager has been in touch but he hasn’t returned his call and the 11-time TT winner isn’t being considered for the team eight now.
“No, definitely not. His sponsor keeps calling me. I see the 353 code on the phone, but I won’t answer. But if they want to talk to me I will talk when the time is right for me, not when it’s right for them. Roads don’t float my boat, except perhaps the TT. Hutchy is with us for the TT and the North West 200 but that isn’t going to put too much financial stress on the team,” said Bird, speaking to bikesportnews.com.
Bird has already fixed Ian Hutchinson for the roads and both Stuart Easton and Shane Byrne for BSB - with Byrne reputedly being paid more than £120,000 a year to bring home the team’s fifth title.
“You pay someone what they’re worth and what the team can afford. I asked him what he wanted, he gave me a figure and we agreed. So he’s happy and I’m happy.”
To read more on Bird’s BSB philosophy and his thoughts on three years in MotoGP, get the new issue of Bikesport News, out now.