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UGP: Dunlop in scare, targets McCallen record

10 August 2012

Michael Dunlop is gunning for a five-timer at tomorrow's Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod.

The Northern Ireland road racer claimed his first Superbike victory around the fastest circuit in the world in the Dundrod 150 meeting on Thursday, which serves as a warm-up to the main international event.

Dunlop smashed Conor Cummins' 2009 lap record with a speed of 133.375mph to crush Guy Martin's challenge, despite escaping a major moment at Quarterlands.

Dunlop said: "I still have a few things to do with the rear of the bike and the front as well, but the tyres were working lovely and the bike was great, so thanks to all the boys.

“That's my first Superbike win around here at Dundrod so I'm happy.

“I had a bit of a moment at Quarterlands. I came in as normal and hit the white line and tried to hold onto the thing but it came right round on me," he added.

“My feet were off the pegs and I thought, 'right this is over' and I thought the best thing to do was abandon ship, but I held on and got my feet back on again.

“We went into the left and managed to get away with it.”

He continues to struggle with two slipped discs in his back after hurting himself while working on his bikes prior to the Armoy road races last month, but appears able to ride through the pain barrier.

“When I'm on the bike it's not too bad, it's when I'm off it that I feel a bit tender when I'm walking about,” Dunlop explained.

“There's nothing I can do about it at this stage so I'll just have to get on with it.”

Dunlop, who won three races last year at the Ulster Grand Prix in the Superstock and Supersport classes, maintained his excellent form on the Hunts Motorcycles/McAdoo Honda Fireblade, taking the win by 2.3 seconds after the race was red-flagged on the fifth lap due an incident involving English rider Lee Vernon at Rock Bends.

The Ballymoney man set the only 133mph lap of the 2012 Ulster Grand Prix so far in the Topaz Dundrod 150 Superbike event at 133.375mph on his third lap to edge away from Martin.

Manx rider Conor Cummins took the final place on the podium.

Ulsterman Phillip McCallen is the only rider ever to win five races in a day at the Ulster GP in 1996, a record Dunlop has in his sights tomorrow.


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