Michael Dunlop quits Yamaha for BMW before Isle of Man TT
Michael Dunlop has split from his Milwaukee Yamaha team just two days before racing at the Isle of Man TT.
In a shock move, the 11-times winner will now ride the Buildbase BMW Superbike he rode to victory last year.
Dunlop has been suffering mechanical issues with the new Yamaha R1 machine at the North West 200 and TT practice.
The 26-year-old will ride his own superstock spec BMW in the Superstock race and a 600cc Honda in the Supersport events.
"I am genuinely sorry to be making this decision," said Dunlop.
"But unfortunately, I don't think we have got enough time left with the sessions that we have already lost at the TT to be truly competitive and get the bike to the level we need in order to win races here."
There was speculation about major problems in setting up the new bike to cope with the rigours of road racing following poor performances at the North West, but the timing of the announcement has come as a surprise.
After just three laps of TT practice on Wednesday night, his lap of 124.519mph on the Yamaha left him a very disappointing 13th in the Superbike leaderboard, behind leader Bruce Anstey's 128.641 on the Valvoline Padgett's Honda.
|2015 Isle of Man TT race schedule|
|Saturday 6 June 11:00 BST TT Superbike race - 6 laps||Wednesday 10 June 10:45 BST TT Zero - 1 lap|
|14:00 Sidecar Race 1 - 3 laps||12:00 Supersport Race 2 - 4 laps|
|14:30 Sidecar Race 2 - 3 laps|
|Monday 8 June 10:45 BST Supersport Race 1 - 4 laps||Friday 12 June 10:15 Lightweight TT Race - 3 laps|
|14:00 Superstock Race - 4 laps||13:00 Senior TT Race - 6 laps|
The Ballymoney man will now have to set up and qualify the S1000RR BMW with just two practice sessions before the start of the Superbike TT, which is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
Milwaukee Yamaha released a statement confirming it has released Dunlop, who won four races at both of the last two TT meetings, from his contract with immediate effect.
"Milwaukee Yamaha have worked tirelessly to prepare a race winning package especially with the introduction of the new R1M.
"The development of the bike is advancing well testament to results on the short circuit worldwide.
"Despite having all the ingredients for TT success, rider, bike and team, Michael has taken the decision not to continue with the programme and for that reason we have released him from his contract."