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.
Bruce 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.
In 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.
Michael Dunlop, Neil Kernohan and Christian Elkin were amongst the race winners at this year’s Dundrod 150 race meeting.
Conditions were tricky on Wednesday and Thursday, with thick fog and poor visibility delaying proceedings on Thursday. Race organisers were able to run all but one of the Dundrod 150 races with the Supertwins being sacrificed from the schedule.
Newcomer Graham Kennedy won the National race from Glenn Walker and Sean Connolly. Gavin Lupton narrowly missed out on a podium by just four tenths of a second with Dean Campbell in fifth. Dan Hegarty was the lead rider from the second group in sixth, ahead of fellow newcomers Dominic Herbertson, Mike Booth, Sam West and David McConnaghy.
In the Lightweight class Davy Morgan narrowly missed out on a win, finishing just 0.069 seconds down on Kernohan. The pair were close throughout the race but it was Kernohan who had the advantage as they crossed the line. Paul Robinson came through to finish third on corrected time with Paul Owen fourth and Olie Linsdell fifth. Stephen Morrison was sixth ahead of Paul Gartland, Veronica Hankocyova, Gavin Brown and Vincent Brett.
Elkin was the runaway winner in the Ultralightweight class, beating Sam Wilson by just over 20 seconds. Derek McGee was third with newcomer Gary Dunlop in fourth. He was running the number three plate and his dad Joey’s iconic yellow helmet. Melissa Kennedy was fifth ahead of Callum Laidlaw, Lorenzo Tiveron and Sarah Boyes. Rounding out the top ten were John McAllister and Laird Shingleton.
There was another newcomer victory, this time with David Jackson narrowly beating Herbertson in the Challenge race. Booth was third ahead of West, Robert Wilson, Adam McLean and Frank Gallagher. Sean Connolly, David McConnaghy and Glenn Walker completed the top ten.
The Superbike race was won by Michael Dunlop although the race was red flagged after just two laps. The result was declared after fading light prevented it being restarted. Bruce Anstey was second with Conor Cummins rounding out the podium finishers. Ian Hutchinson was fourth ahead of Dean Harrison, Dan Kneen and Derek Sheils. RC Express stand-in Steve Mercer finished ahead of team-mate Jamie Coward with Herbertson tenth.
Top 5 results from the first practice sessions at this year’s Dundrod 150 and Ulster Grand Prix
Lightweight (250/400/Moto 450)
- Lee Johnston (250) – 4:16.500 – 103.875mph
- Neil Kernohan (250)- 4:21.862 – +5.362 – 101.748mph
- Olie Linsdell (250) – 4:24.248 – +7.748 – 100.829mph
- Paul Owen (250) – 4:25.371 – +8.871 – 100.403mph
- Paul Robinson (250) – 4:31.431 – +14.931 – 98.161mph
Ultralightweight (Moto 3/125)
- Christian Elkin (Moto 3) – 4:25.953 – 100.183mph
- Derek McGee (125) – 4:34.967 – +9.014 – 96.899mph
- Adam McLean (125) – 4:37.208 – +11.255 – 96.115mph
- Sam Wilson (125) – 4:37.281 – +11.328 – 96.090mph
- Paul Jordan (125) – 4:38.209 – +12.256 – 95.770mph
Lee Johnston came off his bike during this practice session and was taken to hospital. He was confirmed to have broken his collarbone, therefore he is ruled out of action for the remainder of the event. Gary Johnson is on his way to ride Johnston’s bikes.
Dundrod 150 National/Challenge
- Dean Campbell – 4:02.577 – 109.837mph
- Adam McLean – 4:02.878 – +0.301 – 109.701mph
- David Jackson – 4:03.370 – +0.793 – 109.479mph
- Glenn Walker – 4:03.545 – +0.968 – 109.401mph
- Graham Kennedy – 4:06.183 – +3.606 – 108.228mph
Dundrod 150 Superbike
- Derek Sheils – 3:47.347 – 117.195mph
- Conor Cummins – 3:47.853 – +0.506 – 116.935mph
- Michael Dunlop – 3:48.994 – +1.647 – 116.352mph
- Dan Kneen – 3:49.251 – +1.894 – 116.227mph
- William Dunlop – 3:50.702 – +3.355 – 115.491mph
Ulster Grand Prix
- Derek McGee -4:06.459 – 108.107mph
- Daniel Cooper – 4:09.357 – +2.898 – 106.851mph
- Michael Sweeney – 4:11.462 – +5.003 – 105.956mph
- Derek Sheils – 4:12.088 – +5.629 – 105.693mph
- Paul Jordan – 4:12.753 – +6.294 – 105.415mph
- Michael Dunlop – 3:46.214 – 117.782mph
- Bruce Anstey – 3:47.503 – +1.289 – 117.115mph
- Derek McGee – 3:49.054 – +2.840 – 116.322mph
- Dan Kneen – 3:49.066 – +2.852 – 116.316mph
- Dean Harrison – 3:50.686 – +4.472 – 115.499mph
Results to follow
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.
- 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
- Plant Lubrication NI Dundrod 150 National
- Moira Bakery Ultraweight/Lightweight
- DGH Services Dundrod 150 Challenge
- Topaz Airport Road Service Station Dundrod 150 Superbike
- SOS Restoration Supertwins
Ulster Grand Prix – Saturday
- Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council Superstock
- Centra Whitemountain Service Station Supersport
- Ulster Speed Promotions National Ultralightweight/Lightweight
- McKinstry Skip Hire/James Jamieson Construction Superbike
- Barron Transport Services Supersport
- Maxwell Freight Services Supertwins
- Around a Pound Superbike
Last 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.
The Ulster Grand Prix race organisers have announced tweaks to the schedule for this year’s event.
Race week, which will take place from the 8th to the 13th of August this year, will see some changes following difficulties in recent years.
Last year only one race of the Dundrod 150 planned programme was held which saw Bruce Anstey victorious in a truncated Superbike race. Following a number of red flags and lengthy delays throughout the Thursday morning practice sessions, organisers ran out of time to run the remaining four races in the evening.
This year will see the roads close on the Wednesday for an extra two hours of practice while Thursday will get an extra half an hour. It means that practice sessions for all classes can run on the Wednesday with more time on the Thursday for racing.
“By increasing the amount of practice time on the Wednesday we’ve been able to allow more time for the Dundrod 150 races on the Thursday,” Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston explained. “[We have done this] without cutting into anyone’s track time, and that’s good news for all parties. We’ve also decided to move the riders briefings forward from Wednesday to Tuesday, with newcomers in the morning and all other competitors in the evening, which will allow everyone more time to familiarise themselves with the circuit.”
Race organisers have also confirmed that the Joey Dunlop Grandstand on the start/finish straight will have 160 seats available this year.
Seamus Elliott will make his Isle of Man TT debut this season.
The Ballymoney rider – who is a regular on the National road racing scene – will ride for thepeoplesbike.com team at the TT. He will race the Kawasaki in the Superbike, Superstock and Senior races.
As well as the Irish Nationals, Elliott has been a regular competitor at the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man as well as at Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough.
Last year Elliott enjoyed a successful season, including making his debut for Wilson Craig Racing. He has been a regular podium finisher in the Junior Support and Lightweight classes. At the Ulster Grand Prix in 2015 he came from the second group to finish tenth in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race. In the first Supersport race at the Southern 100 he won and placed in the top ten in the Superbike class.
“We’ve been trying to get over to the TT races for a few years so it’s brilliant that it’s finall come together,” Elliott said of his news. “I’ve now got this chance with a team as strong as the peoplesbike who know the Island and what you need to do to run a proper campaign. I’ve started to learn the course and I was over on the Isle of Man at the weekend with the rider liaison officers which really got me excited for the races and I just want to repay the faith that the team has in me.”
Riders who have previously raced for the team include Steve Mercer, Stephen Thompson and Dan Hegarty.
Lee Johnston was the Man of the Meeting at last weekend’s Ulster Grand Prix after winning three races.
Johnston – who is known as General Lee – took victories in the Superstock class as well as both Supersport races, his first wins at the Ulster Grand Prix.
Bruce Anstey had taken the win in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race after battling with Guy Martin, who crashed out and was forced to withdraw from the remainder of the event. The fan favourite sustained a number of fractures including to his hand and several vertebrae.
First up on the order on Saturday – which started off a clear and dry day – was the Superstock race. Keith Amor was promoted to pole position but lost out at the start. It was Johnston who went on to win but not without a close battle with Peter Hickman who had taken the early lead. The race ran to the line and the pair were separated by just 0.090s with Michael Dunlop finishing in third place. He finished ten seconds clear of brother William with Amor rounding out the top five.
Next up was the Supersport race and it was another close fought affair. William Dunlop lead for most of the race but was pipped to the line by on form man Johnston. Their gap was just three hundredths of a second with Glenn Irwin in third on his second visit to the Dundrod circuit. Anstey narrowly missed out on a podium while Ian Hutchinson finished in fifth place after a disappointing retirement in the opening race of the day. Following the Supersport machines it was time for the combined Ultra Lightweight and Lightweight classes. Sam Wilson was the victor in the Lightweight class finishing ahead of Neil Kernohan and James Cowton. Paul Owen was fourth with Michal Dokoupil in fifth place. Christian Elkin was the clear winner in the Ultra Lightweight class. The Moto 3 rider had had an accident on Thursday during a Supertwin practice session but was soon back in action. He was nearly half a minute clear of Connor Behan who finished second, with Nigel Moore in third.
There was controversy in the first Superbike race as it was red flagged on the sixth lap. Due to the rules, which specify that if a race is red flagged then it will be counted back to the last fully completed lap, Anstey was declared the winner despite Hutchinson leading on the road. He later revealed that he had been racing a strategic race – making sure he was leading at two thirds race distance should the race be red flagged. The PBM team planned to appeal the result but it stood with Anstey as the winner with Hutchinson second and Johnston third. Hickman, Conor Cummins and William Dunlop completed the top six.
The second Supersport race was also red flagged due to a fatal accident involving Scottish rider Andy Lawson. Johnston took the victory with Irwin second and Hutchinson third. Dean Harrison took fourth place with William Dunlop fifth and Anstey sixth. Following a lengthy delay as the race directors consulted with Andy Lawson’s family – who wished for the event to continue – the Supertwin class got out on track, albeit in tricky conditions as the rain had set in. Derek McGee held off Cowton throughout the four lap race with Dan Cooper taking his first International podium in third. He and Irwin had circulated closely on track but it was Cooper who was ahead when it counted – as they crossed the line.
It was a depleted grid for the seventh and final race of the day – the second Superbike race. It was another close fought affair as Cummins worked his way through the top five to finish just two hundredths of a second off Hickman. It was Hickman’s first International victory. Michael Dunlop finished off a fairly anonymous day with a third place finish. Amor took fourth ahead of Russ Mountford and Dan Kneen.
Man of the Meeting Johnston was just one of the riders who chose to sit the race out – the list also included Anstey. Horst Saiger was awarded the Best Newcomer award. Next up on the road racing calendar is Faugheen this weekend.