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Hutchinson targets Ulster Grand Prix glory

'If the form on the Isle of Man is anything to go by, it's going to be a brilliant event' - Ian Hutchinson.
Ian Hutchinson is aiming to make amends at the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix after suffering two Superbike defeats against Michael Dunlop at the Isle of Man TT.

The Bingley Bullet pulled off a repeat of his 2015 hat-trick in the Supersport and Superstock races on the Mountain Course, but Hutchy had to settle for a brace of runner-up finishes behind the Ulster rider in the premier races, who clocked a stunning new outright lap record of 133.962mph on his way to victory in the blue riband Senior.

Both riders will renew their rivalry at the world's fastest road race at Dundrod from August 10-13 and Tyco BMW rider Hutchinson is up for the fight.

“I had a great TT and I'm very much hoping to get back on the top step at Dundrod and if the form on the Isle of Man is anything to go by, it's going to be a brilliant event,” said the 14-time TT winner, who has come out in favour of the new Superpole-style qualifying session introduced this year at Dundrod in a first for road racing.

“I'm looking forward to the Superpole session, it's going to be interesting,” added Hutchinson. “It'll put the pressure on but it's great to see something new like that coming to road racing.”

The fastest 12 riders in Superbike qualifying will go through to a Superpole shootout to decide their places on the grid for the two flagship Superbike races on Saturday, August 13.

Hutchinson was among a host of guests in attendance at the launch of the Ulster Grand Prix in Lisburn, including Peter Hickman, Ivan Lintin, William Dunlop, Dean Harrison and Dan Kneen.

Hickman clinched a stunning victory in the second Superbike race last year to secure his maiden international win on the roads and the British Superbike contender is hungry for more silverware at Dundrod, which remains the fastest roads course in the world following Bruce Anstey's record lap of 133.977mph set six years ago on the Relentless TAS Suzuki.

Hickman said: “I can't wait to get to the Ulster, and if the weather is good I can see the lap record going. It's a special place for me, the scene of my first international road race win and to add another to the tally would be fantastic.”

Speculation is growing over the possibility of Guy Martin making his road racing return and the organisers haven't give up hope that the Lincolnshire rider will be on the grid at the event, which he rates as one of his favourites.

Martin crashed while leading the Dundrod 150 Superbike race last year and hasn't raced between the hedges since. He skipped the Isle of Man TT to participate in the gruelling Tour Divide mountain bike race and it remains to be seen what his next move is, with the Southern 100 on the horizon next week at Billown.

Bike Week runs from August 8-13 and includes the Dundrod 150 National meeting on Thursday, August 11. Tickets are available now via Ticketmaster.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW Superbike during Isle of Man TT practice.
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Guy Martin on the Honda Racing Fireblade SP2
Gary Johnson will run his own team at TT 2017.
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.

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July 06, 2016 10:25 AM

I would be very happy to see more wins for Hutchy at Dundrod. His on-going rivalry with MickeyD adds a real depth of intensity to road racing. I recognise that MickeyD is a superfast rider with an fierce competitive spirit, but after effectively losing 5 years of his racing life, and having to re-learn right-foot gearchange and thumb rear brake I am full of admiration for t'Bingley Lad. Michael's dad, Robert, also made a comeback following serious career-threatening injuries, and I am sure that the parallel has not escaped un-noticed by the man from Ballymoney. But for me and many others, Hutchy is an inspiration.

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