When Isle of Man TT star Michael Dunlop decided to switch to BMW machinery for this year’s racing, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company was on hand to help.

Following Wednesday night’s practice, the 11-time TT winner decided he would contest Saturday’s Superbike race and next week’s Senior TT with Stuart Hicken’s Swadlincote-based Buildbase BMW team. Michael took three wins at last year’s TT on BMWs, and with track time limited due to poor weather he felt there wasn’t enough time to make the Milwaukee Yamaha Superbike he was due to ride fully competitive before the racing starts.

However, the BMW Superbike was still in the UK and Michael needed it on the Island as quickly as possible.

Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘At this time of year, all of our sailings are extremely busy, so finding room for a van to bring the Buildbase BMW bike here at such short notice was quite a headache.

‘We worked through the logistics, and managed to re-allocate space, in order to find room on the Ben-my-Chree sailing from Heysham on Thursday afternoon, meaning the van arrived just before the evening practice session.

‘It was fortunate we were able to free some space during what is one of the busiest periods we have. More than 12,000 passengers are due to travel to the Island over Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as well as some 5,700 motorcycles and over 1,000 cars, vans and trailers. However, all those fans are coming to enjoy the racing, so we felt it was important to do everything we could to make sure one of the TT’s biggest stars had the bike he needed to ensure thrilling racing for all the spectators.’

Michael added: ‘I’m really grateful to the Steam Packet Company for pulling out all the stops to get the bike here. I know all the boats are packed at this time of year and it wasn’t easy for them, so I’ll be trying to say thanks in the best way possible, by winning on the BMW.’

Michael Dunlop races his BMW Superbike in the 2014 Senior TT (Pacemaker Press International)