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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. 





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