Eighteen time Isle of Man TT winner Michael Dunlop recently announced that he will make a return to road racing in 2019 after resigning with Tyco BMW.
The Ballymoney man has taken time out of the sport after the tragic death of his brother, the late William Dunlop, who succumbed to his injuries after a crash in practice at the Skerries 100 back in July last year.
The devastation endured by the Dunlop family needs no explanation amongst motorcycling enthusiasts and road racing legend Phillip McCallen has hinted that Michael Dunlop's return to racing will be good for the sport.
“I have not spoken directly to Michael but at the end of the day it is his decision and everyone will support him,” said McCallen.
“I have spoken to people who are quite close to him and a few friends and everyone of us had different vibes and feelings.”
“He is a very talented rider and if Michael wanted to retire he had every reason in the world to do so because the family has had a terrible few years,” he said.
“Michael has lost his father, his uncle and his brother which left people asking the question about his future,” added McCallen.
He continued: “Road racing is like a drug and it is something that we are all addicted to and only Michael will know what is right for him and it is obvious that he wants to win.”
“He has been off the bike since July so I would imagine he will be back riding soon to get back to the peak that we know Michael is more than capable of which has provided that winning form in the past,” concluded the 11 time TT winner.
Throughout the world of road racing, many fans had speculated the 29 year-old's retirement from the sport but after his recent announcement, Dunlop is set to get back in the saddle as he goes in search of further Isle of Man TT glory as he strives to emulate the success of his late father Robert and Uncle Joey Dunlop.
Speaking on his latest move, Dunlop said: "I’m looking forward to working with the TAS Racing boys again this year. We grabbed a Superbike TT win last year, which was a good start and the goal this year will be to go after both the Superbike and Senior TT wins on the Island.”
“BMW has launched a new bike, which I should be riding in a few weeks’ time.”
Dunlop continued: “With the added improvements to the package and a second season with the same team, we should be in a good place to go after both the big wins on the Island.”
It is expected that Michael Dunlop will test his new BMW S1000RR Superbike and Superstock machines in the coming weeks before preparations step up a gear for the 90th anniversary North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
It has been rumoured that Dunlop may opt to run his own Supersport machine on the roads and may participate in the early rounds of the British Superbike championship as he aims to gain some bike fitness.