Three for Peter Hickman at Ulster Grand Prix as Dean Harrison sets new lap record

Peter Hickman has come away from the 2017 Ulster Grand Prix as Man of the Meeting after taking three victories. It was Dean Harrison, however, who set a new lap record of 134.614mph – beating the record of 134.089mph set by Ian Hutchinson in 2016.

Hickman signified he was the man to beat in practice when he secured pole position for the Superbike, Superstock and Supersport races. He then went on to win the Dundrod 150 Superbike race although Harrison was not far behind.

First up was the Superstock race and Hickman opened his account with a 4.674 second victory over Harrison on his Smith’s BMW. Harrison and Dan Kneen were separated by just four hundredths of a second on the line, with Kneen taking a podium on his first International appearance for Tyco BMW. David Johnson finished in fourth ahead of Conor Cummins and Jamie Coward. Michael Dunlop was seventh, ahead of Ivan Lintin, Dan Cooper, and Daley Mathison.

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Lee Johnston

Switching to his Trooper Beer Triumph, Hickman was victorious again – this time in the Supersport race. He battled with Bruce Anstey throughout the race with the winning margin just a tenth of a second. Lee Johnston was third on his return to racing following his crash at the Isle of Man TT. He was less than a second behind the leading duo. Harrison finished in fourth just ahead of William Dunlop who was riding with a wrist injury. Dunlop’s injury had led him to withdraw from the ‘big bike’ races but he put in a competitive performance for fifth ahead of his brother Michael. Cummins was seventh, Derek McGee eighth, Coward ninth and Adam McLean tenth.

There was a popular victory for Davy Morgan in the Ultra Lightweight/Lightweight race. He beat fellow paddock veteran Paul Owen by over four seconds with Callum Laidlaw coming home in third place. Race favourite Anstey retired after just a lap with Neil Kernohan also retiring. The two had stood on the top two steps of the podium in the corresponding Dundrod 150 race. David Howard and Paul Gartland were fourth and fifth respectively. In the Ultra Lightweight class Paul Robinson beat Christian Elkin and Joey Thompson. McLean was fourth and Gary Dunlop fifth.

It was Hickman and Anstey once again leading the charge in the Superbike race, with the pair switching positions throughout. It was eventually a last lap overtake which saw Anstey take the win – his 13th at Dundrod. Hickman was just two tenths behind with Harrison – along with the new lap record- in third. Kneen was once again just hundredths behind Harrison and only marginally ahead of Cummins at the chequered flag. Sheils came home in sixth place ahead of Johnson and Coward. Sam West and Mathison rounded out the top ten finishers.

The fifth race of the day – the second Supersport race – brought out the first red flag of the day following an incident. When it was restarted it proved to be another close affair with the resulting podium the same as in the first Supersport race. Hickman beat Anstey and Johnston with the margin between the top four just over a second. M Dunlop was fourth ahead of Paul Jordan, Coward, Elkin, Cooper and Cowton. Thompson finished in tenth place.

There was another new lap record, this time in the Supertwin class with Ivan Lintin winning. His 120.402mph lap beat the previous Supertwin lap record of 118.735mph. It was yet another narrow margin of victory as he beat Cooper by just two hundredths of a second. There was a podium for McLean who has impressed on the roads this year. Sheils racked up another top five finish in fourth with Elkin fifth and James Cowton sixth. Jonathan Perry and Paul Jordan were seventh and eighth respectively, ahead of Xavier Denis and Maria Costello.

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Kneen leads Harrison

The final race of the day – and the meeting – was the second Superbike race which promised to be another thriller. Unfortunately Hickman and Anstey were forced to retire – Hickman’s engine blew while Anstey retired to the pits – leaving Harrison, Kneen, Cummins and M Dunlop to battle it out. In the end the top three were separated by just three tenths of a second after an exhilarating race. Harrison and Kneen touched as Harrison sent a move up the inside but both continued and eventually Harrison was victorious. Kneen was second with Cummins coming home third. M Dunlop ended the day with a fourth place ahead of Sheils, Johnson and Coward. Sam West was eighth ahead of Lintin and Michael Sweeney.

 

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Joey Thompson and Peter Hickman among Dundrod 150 race winners

Joey Thompson and Peter Hickman were among the race winners at this year’s Dundrod 150.

Thompson secured pole position for the Dundrod 150 National on his debut and went on to win following a three lap race. The race was red flagged and eventually declared a result, with Thompson being joined on the podium by fellow newcomers Davey Todd and Jonathan Perry.

Josh Daley was fourth – just over a second off a podium – ahead of Christian Schmitz, Michael Weldon, Glenn Walker and Kris Duncan. David Howard and Owen Graves rounded out the top ten finishers.

The race was red flagged following an incident involving two riders – later revealed to be brothers Rob and Jamie Hodson. Jamie sadly lost his life in hospital.

bruceanstey150Bruce Anstey romped to an impressive victory in the Lightweight class, beating Neil Kernohan by over 38 seconds. Davy Morgan was third ahead of Callum Laidlaw and Paul Owen. In the same race Paul Robinson won the Ultra Lightweight class beating Christian Elkin and Adam McLean. His advantage over Elkin at the line was just half a second.

The Challenge race was cancelled following two red flag incidents – one involving Gavin Lupton who is in a stable but critical condition in hospital.

Peterhickman150In the Superbike race it was Peter Hickman – who had dominated the practice sessions and secured pole position for Saturday’s Superstock, Superbike and Supersport races – who was victorious. Dean Harrison finished just over a second further back in second ahead of Anstey. Anstey and Dan Kneen – who finished fourth – were separated by mere hundredths of a second on the line. Michael Dunlop was fifth ahead of Lee Johnston, Derek Sheils, David Johnson, Daley Mathison, and Daniel Cooper.

Derek McGee Man of the Meeting at Armoy as Michael Dunlop secures seventh Race of Legends win

Whilst all eyes were on Michael Dunlop as he secured his seventh Race of Legends feature race win in a row, it was Derek McGee who came away from the weekend as Man of the Meeting.

The Mullingar man was awarded the accolade after accumulating the most points with a win in the first Supersport race, second in the second Supersport race and the Open, and fourth in the Grand Final.

Practice sessions were held on Friday with times counting for qualifying, with the first two races taking place on Friday evening. In the Senior Support race it was two Armoy newcomers battling for the win. Joe Loughlin – who has been in control of the Junior/Senior Support classes all year – ultimately lost out to Adam Lyon, with the Scottish rider coming from the second group to win on corrected time by just over three seconds. David Howard joined the pair on the podium.

The first Supersport race was red flagged twice and the result was eventually declared after just two racing laps. The first red flag was caused by a incident involving Adam McLean and Paul Jordan. Both riders were OK and returned to the paddock on the back of marshals bikes. When the race was restarted it was red flagged again when weather conditions took a turn for the worse. A heavy downpour coupled with Michael Dunlop’s bike blowing up and leaving oil on the track meant that racing was halted for the night. McGee was declared the winner with road racing newcomer Davey Todd finishing second and Christian Elkin third.

On Saturday changeable weather conditions greeted race organisers and riders but a full programme was run with limited disruption. First up was Junior Support run over seven laps and this race was won by Loughlin who beat Marc Ironside and Glenn Walker. Then came Moto 3/125 won by Elkin riding a Moto 3. McLean was second and the leading 125 rider while Paul Robinson completed the podium in third. Ian Lougher finished fourth just shy of a second ahead of Gary Dunlop in fifth.

The second Supersport race was won by M Dunlop but he didn’t have it all his own way. McGee initially took the lead as Dunlop came through from seventh on the grid. He progressed up the order, overtaking Elkin at the start of the second lap before slotting into second by passing McLean at the start of lap three. He then closed down McGee’s leading margin before overtaking him and eventually securing a three second victory. James Cowton was third ahead of Todd (from the second group), McLean and newcomer Joey Thompson.

There was a red flag incident following three laps of the Classic race and a slight delay as an oil spill was cleared up. Ed Manly was the eventual winner when the race was re-run over four laps. He was joined on the podium by Wattie Brown and Barry Davidson.

Race seven of the event was the Open race and this saw M Dunlop achieve his second win of the day. The race was declared wet following a downpour just before the start and riders were given a sighting lap with the view of returning to the paddock to change tyres should they decide to. McGee returned to the grid straight away and revealed that most of the track – apart from the start – was wet. There was another warm up lap before a six lap race and it was McGee – riding his Kawasaki 600 – who took the initial lead. He started to pull away but M Dunlop soon caught and passed him, eventually winning by just over 4.5 seconds. William Dunlop crossed the line in third after catching and passing Cowton, but it was Todd who took the podium with corrected time from the second group. Paul Jordan was fifth on the IMR Evolution Camping BMW ahead of Cowton, Thompson, Mark Goodings, Dominic Herbertson and Forest Dunn.

Another rain downpour brought a red flag out in the Lightweight Supersport race but it wasn’t delayed for long. Neil Kernohan was the eventual winner, beating Darryl Tweed (who was the first 400cc rider) and Callum Laidlaw. McGee took the win in the Supertwin class after an exciting battle with McLean. The latter had been holding onto second place until the last lap when he was passed by Cowton. Elkin finished in fourth ahead of Michael Sweeney, Brad Vicars and Paul Gartland.

The penultimate race of the meeting was the second Senior Support and this time Loughlin got the better of Lyon, who came from the second group. The pair were once again joined on the podium by Howard who beat Ironside, Tommy Henry, Stephen McKeown and Alan Johnston.

Following a sighting lap and then a warm-up, the Grand Final – the Race of Legends – was run over seven laps. M Dunlop was in a class of his own on his Hawk Racing Suzuki, as he romped to a 12 second win over his brother William. Sweeney finished the race in third place, mere tenths of a second off second. McGee was fourth ahead of Cowton, Thompson, Todd and Jordan. Davy Morgan led the second group riders to finish in ninth, beating Goodings, Herbertson, Graham Kennedy, Vicars, Dunn and Laidlaw.

While McGee secured Man of the Meeting, Loughlin was named Support Man of the Meeting.

 

Joe Loughlin wins five at Walderstown

Joe Loughlin took five wins at the Race of the South in Walderstown, making him the most successful rider at the weekend.

He won both the non championship and championship races in the Junior and Senior Support classes as well as taking victory in the Supertwins race. Other winners at the event included Adam McLean, Derek McGee and Derek Sheils.

Loughlin beat RJ Woolsey and Ben Mullane in the non championship Junior Support race. He set a new track record for the class on his way to a comfortable 27 second victory. ┬áBacking this up, he went on to win the championship race by just over 20 seconds – again from Woolsey. This time Liam Chawke joined them on the podium. It was a closer fought affair in Senior Support, Loughlin’s winning margin just eight seconds in the non championship race. David and Damien Howard joined him on the podium. It was four out of four for Loughlin in the support classes with a nine second victory over Damien Howard in the championship leg of the race. David Howard was third.

Elsewhere, McLean backed up his impressive recent form with another win in the Supersport class. He took his first 600cc victory at Cookstown in April and once again he beat William Dunlop on his way to the chequered flag. It was a narrow margin as he crossed the line just four tenths clear with Paul Jordan a fine third just a further three tenths back. Jordan also set the fastest lap of the race. Michael Sweeney was fourth ahead of road racing newcomer Davey Todd.

Also standing on the top step of the podium was McGee who held off Dunlop to take the victory in the Open race. Sweeney took third place ahead of Sheils and Jordan. Sheils started from pole position for the Grand Final and took the win, setting the fastest lap on the way. McGee was second and Dunlop was third. In the Supertwins the top five were separated by just over three seconds with Loughlin taking the win. McLean finished in second place ahead of Sheils, McGee and Sweeney.

The Classics were also in action with a Junior and Senior race. Barry Davidson beat Richard Ford in the Junior Classic race with Sean Leonard joining them on the podium. Robert McCrum took the victory in the Senior Classic race while Ford was second and Davidson third. Paul Gartland won the 400cc race beating Mark Shiels, Steve Tobin, Aaron Boyd and Gerard Cummins.

Dean Harrison on form at Cock O’The North

Following his domination at the Spring Cup in April, Dean Harrison was once again the man to beat at Oliver’s Mount. The Silicone Engineering rider took seven wins – including the feature race – at the Cock O’The North meeting last weekend.

Harrison opened his account with a win in the first Junior race, beating Adam McLean by eight and a half seconds. Jamie Coward joined the pair on the podium. He followed that up by winning the Solo Open and the Senior. Ivan Lintin and McLean were the podium finishers in the Solo Open race. Daley Mathison and Lintin were second and third in the Senior race. Harrison also won the second leg of both races. There were podiums for Mathison in both while Lintin and McLean were third and second in the Senior and Junior races respectively.

The Cock O’The North feature race saw Harrison cross the line just over three seconds clear of Harrison. McLean rounded off a successful weekend of racing with his fifth podium of the meeting. Coward was fourth ahead of Mick Goodings, Daniel Frear, Brian Greenfield, Darren Cooper and James Cowton.

Elsewhere Joey Thompson was victorious in both Ultra Lightweight/Lightweight races. In both races he was joined on the podium by Rhys Hardistry and Frear – Hardistry second in race one and Frear second in race two.

Lintin took the win in both Super Lightweight races. It was a narrow victory in race one, beating Cowton by just nine tenths of a second while McLean was 1.4 seconds off the winner. In the second leg the gap was smaller still – down to seven tenths – while Bradley Vicars joined the leading two on the podium.

Joining the riders winning more than one race were Steven Haddow and David Bell. Haddow won both Junior B races beating Ben Shuttlewood and Russell Brook in both. The winning margin was just over a second in both races. Bell won both Classic Superbike races. He beat Peter Boast and Daniel Ingham in both. Paul Marley won the Solo Open B race beating Haddow and Shuttlewood. Brian Greenfield beat Haddow and Marley in the Solo Open B race.

In the Sidecar class it was two out of three for the Steve and Matty Ramsden partnership. They won the second and third race. Lee Crawford and Harry Payne beat the Ramsdens by four tenths of a second in race one. John and Jake Lowther were third. In race two the Ramsdens beat the Lowthers while Conrad Harrison and Andrew Winkle joined them on the podium. This result was replicated in race three.

Cowton and Coward win at Post TT races

James Cowton and Jamie Coward shared the spoils at the Post TT races at Billown.

First up was the CuPlas Callow 600cc race which was won by Cowton. He set a new lap record for the class – 2:20.775 – on his way to a seven tenths victory over Coward. Robert Wilson completed the podium finishers in third place.

2017 TT Newcomer Joey Thompson took fourth place beating Glenn Harrison, Brendan Fargher, Richard Charlton and Dean Osborne. Anthony Redmond and Jamie Williams rounded out the top ten finishers.

Cowton then doubled up with a win in the 250/650cc race. It was a more significant margin of victory in this race when he crossed the line over 18 seconds ahead of second placed finisher Dave Moffitt. Jonathan Perry finished in third place with Redmond fourth, Dave Quine fifth and Darren Cooper sixth. Matt Mylchreest finished the race seventh ahead of Rikki McGovern, Radley Hughes, and Stephen Ault.

It was advantage Coward in the Manx Independent Carriers 1100cc race as he beat Cowton. He too set a new lap record – 2:16.506 – beating Cowton by 8.7 seconds. William Dunlop got on the podium in third place. Ryan Kneen was fourth ahead of Mark Goodings, Wilson, Thompson, Osborne and Fargher. Richard Charlton was tenth with Jamie Williams 11th, Stephen Smith 12th, Peter Wilkinson 13th, and Billy Mellor 14th. Brian Clark and Kevin Barsby rounded out the finishers.

Two out of two for Birchall brothers in Sidecar class

Ben and Tom Birchall backed up their victory in the first Sidecar race at this year’s TT with a win in the second.

The Birchall brothers took the lead by Glen Helen and didn’t look back eventually beating John Holden & Lee Cain by 26 seconds. Conrad Harrison and Holden’s former passenger Andy Winkle took the final podium position in third place.

Lewis Blackstock along with passenger Patrick Rosney finished the race in fourth place ahead of Karl Bennett & Maxime Vasseur. Tony Baker & Fiona Baker-Holden finished the race in sixth place with Robert Handcock & Ken Edwards seventh. Gregory Lambert & Julie Canipa were eighth, Wayne Lockey & Mark Sayers ninth, and Gary Knight & Daniel Evanson tenth.

The action was delayed due to weather conditions and there were some damp patches around the circuit. The pace was not quite as fast as the Birchall’s record breaking speeds in the first race, however it was not far off. Dave Molyneux & Dan Sayle, Peter Founds & Jevan Walmsley, and Estelle Leblond & Melanie Farrier were amongst the retirements from the race.