I watched Michael Dunlop dominate my local road race, the Walderstown Road Races, more times than I can remember. After the races, I'd follow the fans up to the paddock (read "field") to congratulate the riders, gawk at their fire-breathing liter-bikes, and check out the campervans. Bear in mind, that it's not required to have a motorcycle license to compete in a road race in Ireland. 

But Dunlop isn't just any racer. He's arguably the most successful living road racer. And since he's just three years my senior, I've watched him race and win since I got into the sport. So, when I found out that he didn't have a motorcycle license, to say I was "shocked" would be an understatement.

Getting the license 

Though Dunlop has been racing motorcycles on public roads for more than half his life, at 34 years old, he finally decided it was time to get a motorcycle road license. Assisting him on his path to becoming road-legal was Moto Training NI.

A social media post from the school read:

So I get this phone call from a guy who said he had lots of experience riding on the roads, but seemed to be having difficulty keeping a bike lined up and both wheels on the ground.

Thankfully we were able to get him sorted and he passed his final road test today in the worst of conditions!

Has been great craic - have a safe and successful season Michael and thank you for choosing Moto Training NI


It looks like Dunlop did his test on a Kawasaki Z650, which probably made a nice change of pace from his 200+ horsepower Hawk Racing's Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade. 

Dunlop's next test

It's out of the frying pan and into the fire for the Dunlop, who could make history around the mountain course this year. He unofficially held the fastest average speed record around the IOM TT last year, clocking 135.351 mph, and took four victories. This gave him a total of 25 IOM TT wins, just one less than the record of 26 held by his uncle Joey Dunlop since 2000.

If Michael Dunlop can win just one race at the TT this year, he'll equal the record as the most winningest rider of all time.

And if he wins any more, well, he'll make history. He can then go for a celebratory tour ride around the island. But this time, fully road-legal. 


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