2016: Ulster Grand Prix Preview

The competition on the roads this year has been fast and close, and this year’s Ulster Grand Prix will be no different.

Some of the world’s fastest road racers will take on the world’s fastest road race this week as the action heads to Dundrod. The event has a brand new title sponsor in MCE as well as the introduction of Superpole to look forward to.

Road Closures

  • Wednesday 10.00am – 9.30pm
  • Thursday 10.00am – 9.30pm
  • Saturday 9.30am – 8.30pm

Last year only one race was ran during Thursday’s Dundrod 150 race meet due to a number of lengthy delays. Road closures have extended by two hours on Wednesday for further practice, with an extra half an hour on Thursday. This means more practice can be held on the Wednesday, allowing more race time on Thursday.

Race Schedule and Sponsors

Dundrod 150 – Thursday

  1. Plant Lubrication NI Dundrod 150 National
  2. Moira Bakery Ultraweight/Lightweight
  3. DGH Services Dundrod 150 Challenge
  4. Topaz Airport Road Service Station Dundrod 150 Superbike
  5. SOS Restoration Supertwins

Ulster Grand Prix – Saturday

  1. Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council Superstock
  2. Centra Whitemountain Service Station Supersport
  3. Ulster Speed Promotions National Ultralightweight/Lightweight
  4. McKinstry Skip Hire/James Jamieson Construction Superbike
  5. Barron Transport Services Supersport
  6. Maxwell Freight Services Supertwins
  7. Around a Pound Superbike

Riders

IMG_1637Last year’s Man of the Meeting Lee Johnston will be back in action, hoping to repeat his three victories from last year – or even add to that tally. Lap record holder – at 133.977mph –  Bruce Anstey will also be racing. He has stood on the podium at every Ulster Grand Prix since his debut in 2002 – a corresponding record to the one he holds at the Isle of Man TT. He had had the same record at the North West 200 but failed to get a podium this year for the first time. Anstey is also the most successful current rider with 11 Ulster Grand Prix wins.

William Dunlop has seven wins at the Ulster Grand Prix and comes to this year’s event off the back of a strong showing at Armoy. Two Supersport wins and two podiums in the Superbike class saw him named Man of the Meeting.

Michael Dunlop has six Ulster Grand Prix wins and was on electrifying form at this year’s Isle of Man TT as well as taking a Superbike win at the North West 200. He won both Superbike races in Armoy, so will definitely be one to watch this week. The Ballymoney man almost broke the 134mph barrier at the TT so could he be the one to go faster still on the Dundrod circuit?

The spotlight will undoubtedly be on the battle between Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson as the two battled at the TT. Hutchinson took wins at the North West 200 and will be a favourite to repeat that feat this week. Peter Hickman secured his first ever International road race victory at last year’s Ulster Grand Prix, winning the second Superbike race. He has been impressing since his road racing debut.

Dean Harrison, Dan Kneen, and Conor Cummins are other riders to look out for. Derek Sheils and Derek McGee have both been race winners in the Irish Nationals this year and will be in action at Dundrod. Gary Dunlop will be making his debut at the course running dad Joey’s iconic yellow helmet and number 3 plate on a 125. Adam McLean who has impressed on the National circuit in the Lightweight classes will also be racing, making his Dundrod debut.

Steve Mercer and Jamie Coward will be racing for RC Express after both their riders – Ivan Lintin and Alan Bonner – were ruled out through injury. David Johnson will be riding Wilson Craig machinery.

 

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