Michael Dunlop says he is intensely proud to be one of the last ‘old school racers’ who has honed his skills on the Irish roads and conquered the Isle of Man TT.
The 27-year-old, whose new autobiography Road Racer: It’s In My Blood is due to be published on April 20, has won 13 times at the TT to uphold the legendary Dunlop dynasty.
His uncle Joey remains the most successful rider ever to have graced the Mountain Course with 26 victories, while his father Robert won five times to ensure the Dunlop name will be forever inextricably associated with the world famous motorcycling marvel in the middle of the Irish Sea.
Sadly, both are no longer with us after suffering fatal accidents in 2000 and 2008 respectively, but Michael and his older brother William have ensured the Dunlop name burns as brightly as ever.
Having learned his trade on the narrow country roads of Northern Ireland as opposed to climbing the British championship ranks, outright TT lap record holder Dunlop says victory at the major international road races tastes all the sweeter as he follows in the wheel tracks of Joey and Robert.
“I’m one of the real old school like Joey and my dad who came to the TT not having done world championship short circuits; who came from the road races back home where we get five laps in practice,” he said.
“Don’t get me wrong, some of the roads are fantastic, but some are awful and you wouldn’t herd sheep down them.
“But I’m proud to be that person because you look down the entry list now of the boys who are winning races and they’ve either got a full-time British championship ride or have won British championships. I’m just a big, fat road racer who goes and wins races and spanks them,” Dunlop added.
“It’s nice a thing to say that I’ve come from where Joey and my dad came from.”
Dunlop will be signing copies of his new book at Eason’s, Royal Avenue, in Belfast from 1pm on Saturday.
Road Racers: It’s In My Blood, is published by Michael O’Mara Books (RRP £20).