Isle of Man TT: Michael Dunlop hoping to perform to full potential at 2019 races

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Michael Dunlop says he's 'greedy' for more Isle of Man TT success.

Michael Dunlop says he wants to perform to the level he is capable of at this year's Isle of Man TT after failing "to really do himself justice" last year.

Dunlop took his tally of wins at the event to 18 by securing a hat-trick of successes in 2018 but finished fourth in the closing blue riband Senior race.

"My biggest downside to TT 2018 was not performing to the level that I personally think I can," said Dunlop.

"I didn't achieve what I was capable of - there's a lot more to come from me."

The 30-year-old Northern Ireland rider, who took victories in the Superbike, Supersport and Lightweight Supertwins classes 12 months ago, added: "I don't think there is anyone willing to push as hard as I am."

Dunlop sat out the second half of last season following the tragic death of his brother William at the Skerries 100 last July but returned to competitive action at this month's North West 200, achieving a best finish of third in a Superstock race.

The Ballymoney man rides a new spec of BMW Superbike as part of the Tyco BMW outfit for the second successive season and will campaign his own MD Racing BMW Superstock and Honda Supersport machinery, plus a Paton in the Lightweight.

He said: "We were late making 2018 happen but Philip Neill gave me everything I asked for and I said if I did come back I would have another go with them (Tyco BMW).

"The Senior didn't work out but it wasn't for a lack of input from the team or from myself.

"The TT is one of those places where you want to go out and give it a go every time but sometimes it's not possible. At the TT you can learn the hard way real quick. You can't always think 'it's going to work today'. It's just not like that."

Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop raced the new version of the BMW for the first time at the North West 200

Dunlop says he was not surprised the absolute lap record for the Mountain Course smashed through the 135mph barrier as Peter Hickman's final flying circuit saw him edge out Dean Harrison in a thrilling conclusion to the 2018 Senior TT.

"Without a doubt the speeds were going to be up," he said. "We knew that was going to be the case. I did nearly 134mph in 2016 and I was leading the race by a bit.

"We had a lot of track time with the good weather last year and it was going to be competitive enough and get faster. You have to have the bike at 100% to get those speeds.

"It'll get faster and faster again. If the weather is good again the lap times will continue to come down. I just try 110% and see what comes along with that. Some days that's good enough for you, some days it's not."

TT 'always been the big goal'

Dunlop explains the TT remains the focal point of his season and despite having achieved many of his ambitions, he is keen to set and meet new targets.

"Over my career thankfully I've hit a lot of goals I've set out to get," he said. "I was the first person ever to do a sub-17-minute lap and I've won on so many different manufacturers.

"I've won 18 TTs and I'm just out of my 20s. I've hit goals but never really reached out to get them. The TT has always been the big goal and road racing in any era has always been about the TT.

"I wanted to win one TT and when I won one I wanted to win another. Then a Superbike race and all the different classes and the Senior, and win with different manufacturers.

"You just want to win TTs. That's what the sponsors love and what the manufacturers want.

"If you're a true road racer to a degree you want to win a TT. When you get one you get hungry. I get greedy and I want more."