Michael Dunlop signs Yamaha deal for 2015

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Michael Dunlop signs to ride for the official Yamaha racing team

Road racing star Michael Dunlop has signed to ride for the official Yamaha racing team this season.

The Ballymoney man flew to Yamaha's European headquarters in Düsseldorf to complete a deal which will see him ride for the Milwaukee backed outfit.

Dunlop will compete on the new R1 Superbike at the North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix and Isle of Man TT.

He created history at the TT in 2014 by becoming the first ever rider to win four races in consecutive years.

It's the third different team in as many years for Dunlop - he split with the official Honda team in 2013, before signing for BMW last year.

Michael Dunlop has clocked up 11 victories in the Isle of Man TT
Michael Dunlop has clocked up 11 victories in the Isle of Man TT

The 25-year-old won the German manufacturer's first Superbike race in 75 years at the TT, but was then surprisingly released before Christmas as BMW decided to move their efforts to the formerly Suzuki backed Tyco team.

He hopes to compete on Yamaha machinery in the other Supersport and Superstock classes under his own MD racing team banner.

Dunlop has also been named as the stand-in rider for the team in the British Superbike Championship, and he will also be part of the Yamaha World Endurance team talking part in selective rounds including Le Mans and Bol D'or.

Michael Dunlop on his Yamaha deal
"I'm buzzing at the minute and I am up for the job - it means I can dip my hand into other things and get involved in different areas of racing."

He is currently regarded as the world's best road racer and will attend the official Yamaha team launch at the end of February with MotoGP stars Valentino Rossi and and Jorge Lorenzo.

Dunlop will also be part of the official Yamaha team test at the beginning of March, and hopefully will compete in the first British Superbike race at Donington Park to prepare for the road racing season.

Team manager Shaun Muir said on Thursday that he wants to extend the one-year deal before the end of the season and make it a long-term partnership.

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