Michael Dunlop set his fastest ever time at Cartagena in Spain as the 13-time Isle of Man TT winner rattled off the laps on his new Bennetts Suzuki Superbike last week.
The 27-year-old recently revealed he had made the switch to the revamped GSX-R1000 for the major international road races, with the in-demand Ballymoney rider opting to remain in Stuart and Steve Hicken’s Hawk Racing squad in 2017.
Dunlop, who won the blue riband Superbike and Senior races at the TT last year in record-breaking fashion, concentrated on riding his Superbike at the Barry Symmons-organised Pro Test at the Spanish track and tested a number of new factory and Yoshimura components as he worked on the set-up of the machine.
Following the completion of five days testing at Cartagena and Almeria, Hawk Racing team manager Steve Hicken says the Ulster rider is ‘very happy’ with his first impressions of the big Suzuki.
“Michael was faster this year than he ever has been at Cartagena, which is only a good thing, and he’s very happy with how it’s gone so far and knows how much more there is to come,” said Hicken.
“Everyone in the team is really excited about what we’ve been able to achieve so far and where we’re at.”
Dunlop will compete in the opening round of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Donington Park in April as part of his preparations.
An official BSB test will be held at the Leicestershire circuit on Wednesday, March 22 – one day before the official launch of this year’s Isle of Man TT races.