Local favourite, Michael Dunlop, will light up the 2022 fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils North West 200 aboard a Paul Bird Motorsport V4 Panigale Ducati superbike when action returns to the north coast event after a two year absence on May 8-14.
The event will be the first major road race of the 2022 season and the appearance of the 8.9 mile Triangle circuit’s outright lap record holder on the former British championship winning Italian superbike promises a mouth-watering spectacle.
“What a truly incredible spectacle of mass start superbike action awaits North West 200 fans as road racing returns in 2022.” race boss, Mervyn Whyte, said.
“With the winner of last four superbike races at the NW200, Glenn Irwin, on a Honda, Alastair Seeley entered on a Yamaha, Peter Hickman aboard a BMW, Dean Harrison Kawasaki mounted amid a host of others, Michael Dunlop’s Ducati challenge seals the deal in ensuring this year’s NW200 Superbike races will be epic battles.”
Dunlop tested the Ducati in Spain during the start of the 2020 season before the pandemic hit and the Penrith based PBM team will arrive on the north coast with base settings already dialled in following Alastair Seeley’s 2019 NW200 appearance on the V4R machine. The event’s most successful racer finished fifth in that year’s Superbike race after posting his fastest ever lap of the famous Triangle course on the Italian superbike.
“We are delighted to be able to fulfil our promise and commitment to Michael, albeit two years later than we had hoped.” PBM Team co-ordinator, John Mowatt, said.
Dunlop, a five time North West 200 winner, rode a Kawasaki for Paul Bird’s team in 2011. In 2019 he finished third in the Bayview Hotel Superstock race on a MD Racing BMW with his last win at Portrush coming in 2016 when he rode a Hawk BMW to victory in the Superbike event, setting the current NW200 outright lap record at 123.207mph.