Michael Dunlop will resume his highly-successful partnership with Hawk Racing at this year’s Isle of Man TT Races as the 21-time race winner campaigns the team’s new Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade in the six-lap Superbike and Senior TT Races.
Having run Suzukis for the last six years, Hawk Racing recently announced a switch to Honda for their BSB campaign, and their TT plans have duly followed suit. 2023 will be the first time Dunlop has ridden a Honda in the headline Superbike and Senior Races since 2013 where he scored a victory with the factory TT Legends squad.
Since then, the 34-year old has ridden either BMW or Suzuki machinery in the 1000cc races, primarily for Stuart and Steve Hicken’s team, with resounding success.
“It’s good to get my plans sorted in plenty of time this year,” Dunlop confirmed. “You only have to look at the other boys to see how important it is to be working with a team you’re familiar with and to be up to speed well before you even get to the TT. The pace is so high right now, you’ve got to be right at the top of your game from the get go.
“In truth, preparations for last year were not what they should have been. Steve and the boys came in to dig me out of a hole at the last minute but we still managed a good result. Before then [in 2019] I was still struggling quite bad with [a wrist] injury, so this year will be the first time in a long while where I’m both fully fit and I’m on a bike I’m set with. It’s good, I’m excited for it and I think we can put on a good show.”
“We’ve enjoyed a lot of success with Michael over the years including the podium we managed last year, despite the challenge we faced in getting him a bike ready at the very last minute,” Steve Hicken, Hawk Racing Team Manager added. “Fortunately, we’ve a little more time to prepare this year and it’ll be good to actually go testing this time.
“The Honda is new to us and new to Michael, but we both believe it’s the best bike to be on right now. It’s also not the first time we’ve worked with him with a new bike, and if we can carry on with that previous run of form in these circumstances then we’ll be in a good place.
Dunlop is also expected to ride his own MD Racing Honda in the Superstock Races.