Michael Dunlop: I race for my ambition - it's always been about winning for me

Michael Dunlop with the Superbike trophy at last year's Isle of Man TT.
Michael Dunlop with the Superbike trophy at last year's Isle of Man TT.

Michael Dunlop says ambition is the driving force behind his return to road racing in 2019.

The Ballymoney rider recently announced that he would continue in the sport this year after missing the second part of the season in 2018 following his brother William’s fatal accident at the Skerries 100.

Ballymoney man Michael Dunlop on the Tyco BMW at the Isle of Man TT in 2018.

Ballymoney man Michael Dunlop on the Tyco BMW at the Isle of Man TT in 2018.

The 18-time Isle of Man TT winner will compete in the Superbike class for Northern Ireland’s Tyco BMW team on the new S1000RR and will also run his own Superstock and Supersport machines under his MD Racing banner.

Dunlop, who clinched a treble at the TT last year to become the third most successful rider ever at the legendary event, said: “I do this for ambition, not for fame really. I was happy that I was going to come back, so for me, that’s enough, but it’s nice to see people are trying to get behind you and want you to do the best you can.

“I’ve never been one for dishing through everything, but it’s nice to see I must bring something to the table that people want to see me back again.

“The last week’s been hectic obviously with the press coming out that I’ve returned again. We’re trying to get through it all real quick because we’ve got a new bike coming in. We just have to keep the pressure on and keep going,” he added.

“My biggest focus now is pushing myself to get back on the bike again, it’s been a while since I was on one. I just need to get back out, get a bit of testing done and see where we’re at from there.”

The 29-year-old says he is motivated to win races, particularly at the TT, which he describes as the ‘world’s biggest road race’.

“My main thing is to win races. It always has been and it’s the only reason why I do this job. I love riding motorbikes, but my main aim is to win races. We’ll just try our best and if that’s good enough, great. If it’s not, then it’s my fault really,” he said.

“The TT’s still getting bigger, it always is getting bigger and it’s always a big goal. You go there to do what you can and when you get there, it’s the biggest road race in the world. It’s getting faster, we just have to go and get faster with it.”

The County Antrim man was speaking in his role as a brand ambassador for D3O, which produces impact protection for racers including back protectors, chest protectors, limb protectors and ankle guards and insoles.