Tyco BMW’s Michael Dunlop has been confirmed for the 2019 Fonacab Ulster Grand Prix and will ride in Superbike, Superstock and Supersport classes.
But the Ballymoney man admitted he is still in pain from a winter test crash and hasn’t got anything like the seat time he needs to compete with the likes of Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison.
“It’s been a couple of years since I was at the Ulster and I am looking forward to getting back on a bike around Dundrod,” said Dunlop, who missed his Pikes Peak debut after a rally crash which aggravated the injuries he suffered in a testing crash.
“I haven’t carried much performance at the Ulster for a while and I am still short of bike time which puts me on the back foot.
“I didn’t get many laps at the North West or TT this year so it will be good to get out on the bikes again at the Southern.’
“I am still suffering a bit with the shoulder and wrist but I am getting treatment at the minute. I will just have to suffer the pain with it for now until I can get an operation.”
Dunlop managed to take victory in the Lightweight race at TT 2019 but said the smaller bike allowed him to ride around with the original injury he suffered in a testing crash.
He stated a spate of minor injury and machinery problems have combined to prevent him from getting back to his previous best.
There has just been a series of knocks with this and that which have all added up when you are already up against it to start with after being off the bike for so long. The other boys are riding bikes all the time in the British championship but I haven’t sat on a bike since the TT,” he said.
Despite these problems, Dunlop says he is as hungry as ever to get back to winning races.
“I love winning, that is the whole point of racing motorbike. If I didn’t think I could win I wouldn’t bother racing at all. I feel bad for Phillip Neill and the rest of the Tyco boys because I haven’t been able to give them anything back after all their hard work. It is as frustrating for them as it is for me.”