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Top road racers in Ulster Grand Prix showdown

Dundrod braced for titanic tussle as Dunlop brothers prepare to fend off challenge of overseas raiders Martin, Anstey, Cummins and Johnson
The excitement is building ahead of this week's 90th anniversary Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod in Northern Ireland, the final major international road race of the season.

Honda TT Legends duo John McGuinness and Cameron Donald are missing from the line-up due to their commitments in the Endurance World Championship in Germany this weekend, but their absence isn't expected to impact on what promises to be another explosive contest on the fastest road racing circuit on the planet.

Last year's man of the meeting, hat-trick star Michael Dunlop, returns as the slight pre-race favourite.

The 23-year-old from Ballymoney has been in sensational form since the Isle of Man TT, dominating the Southern 100 at Billown before notching a double at Irish road race meetings Walderstown and a treble at Armoy.

Dunlop won both Supersport races at Dundrod in 2011, diving up the inside of brother William twice on the final lap at the hairpin to pluck victory from the jaws of defeat. 


He also followed up his Superstock TT victory last year with another triumph in the production-based class at the 'Prix', but was denied the opportunity to challenge for honours in the Superbike category after the engine in his Kawasaki ZX-10 expired.

However, Dunlop is confident he has the firepower at his disposal to stake his claim for his first victory in the premier class at Dundrod on Saturday, when he lines up on the Hunts Motorcycles/McAdoo Honda Fireblade.

He is bidding to equal Phillip McCallen's feat of five wins in a day at the Ulster GP, but the level of competition he faces is formidable.

And Dunlop will have to fight through the pain barrier after he sustained two slipped discs in his back, a setback that occurred when he was working on his machines before the Armoy road races.

Bruce Anstey excels at Dundrod and last year won the opening Superbike race after starting from the second row of the grid on Clive Padgett's Honda. 





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Guy Martin at Ballaugh Bridge
Conor Cummins has joined the Padgetts Racing Honda team for 2017.
Lee Johnston has teamed up with Ryan Farquhar to race a KMR Kawasaki in the NI Air Ambulance colours at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
Alastair Seeley with the Tyco BMW he will race at the North West 200.
John McGuinness on the Jackson Racing Honda.
Michael Dunlop, Carl Cox, [Credit: Holeshot PR]
Michael Dunlop has signed for Bennets Suzuki for the 2017 international road races.
Michael Dunlop has signed for the Bennett Suzuki team for 2017.
Guy Martin, John McGuinness Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Guy Martin, Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Josh Brookes has signed to ride for Norton at the Isle of Man TT in 2017.
Dan Kneen has signed for the Penz13.com Racing Team for the 2017 road races.
Dan Hegarty won the TT Privateers Championship in 2016.
Peter Hickman will ride for Smiths Racing in 2017 at the international road races and in the British Superbike Championship.
Peter Hickman won the Macau Grand Prix for the second year running on the Bathams/SMT BMW.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.
Peter Hickman on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.

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