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UGP: Dunlop vows to fight through pain barrier
6 August 2012
Michael Dunlop's quest to equal Phillip McCallen's record of five wins in a day at the Ulster Grand Prix this week has suffered an early setback.
The Ballymoney rider is in agony after a sustaining two slipped discs in his back prior to the Armoy road races in Northern Ieland at the end of July, where he rode through the pain barrier to win the Supersport, Superbike and Grand Final events.
Dunlop put his back out while he was working on his bikes at home and admits he has a mountain to climb at Dundrod, where a hectic schedule doesn't allow for much respite between races on Saturday.
He was able to steel himself at Armoy, where he had the luxury of significant rest periods between each of the three races he competed in.
However, that won't be the case at the Ulster GP, when the triple Isle of Man TT winner is due to ride in five events including both Supersport and Superbikes races plus the Superstock class.
And Dunlop concedes he could struggle to cope with the physical demands of racing at Dundrod as the day progresses.
He said: “I was in a fair bit of pain with my back at Armoy because I've two slipped discs.
“I've damaged the muscle at the bottom of my back and I could hardly swing my leg over the bike.
“I've been walking around like a duck trying to lay an egg. It happened while I was working on the bikes because I've been lifting heavy engines with one arm and putting the bolts in with the other hand, so that's what caused it.
“I spoke with a couple of sports injury people and went and saw the doctor as well and all I can do is try and rest up and get some physio before the Ulster Grand Prix.
“But I've still a heap of work on to get the 600cc Yamaha built and ready for Dundrod and it doesn't give me much time,” Michael added.
“I don't think I'll be totally fit but we'll be there to give it a go.”
Dunlop is on an incredible run of form, winning 10 races from 11 starts since the Isle of Man TT, where he won the second Supersport race and finished as the runner-up in the Superstock class to John McGuinness.
He believes a clean sweep of the main races at Dundrod is a possibility following his Supersport and Superstock treble in 2011, but his goal of achieving the feat has been made significantly more difficult as a result of his untimely back injury.
“At least at Armoy I was able to get a bit of a break between the races but it won't be like that at the Ulster because the races are bang, bang, bang, one after the other,” he added.
“We'll just take it as it comes on the day but apart from that I'm in good form, I've been winning a pile of races and there's no reason why I can't keep doing that at Dundrod.
“Five wins would be nice but I won't be getting carried away and a lot needs to fall into place for that to happen.”
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