Guy Martin's road racing return is on hold until 2017 at least but MCE Ulster Grand Prix chief Noel Johnston says the international showpiece at Dundrod will be 'no less a spectacle' without the 11-time winner on the grid.
A stellar line-up has been secured, with Isle of Man TT big hitters Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson renewing their rivalry at the fastest road race in the world, while Bruce Anstey will ride the Valvoline Padgett's Honda RCV213V-S MotoGP replica.
Peter Hickman, who was a sensational winner in the Superbike class on his second visit to the Ulster Grand Prix last season, returns on the GBmoto Kawasaki machines, while Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki), William Dunlop (IC/MMB Yamaha), Mar-Train Racing's Dan Kneen, Conor Cummins (Honda Racing) and Lee Johnston – last year's man of the meeting following a superb hat-trick – add plenty of star quality to the legendary race.
Lincolnshire rider Martin hasn't raced on the roads since a big crash at Dundrod last year and Ulster GP Clerk of the Course Johnston said the TV presenter and truck mechanic's land speed record attempt in America clashed with the final major road race of the season.
“We've got confirmation that Guy Martin can't come this year due to a timing clash with his land speed record attempt in America, which is a shame but in no way will there be any less of a spectacle for the fans,” said Johnston.
“The two guys that everyone has been talking about – Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson – will both be there gunning for the top step of the podium, as well other major talents including Dean Harrison, Ivan Lintin, Lee Johnston, William Dunlop, Peter Hickman, Bruce Anstey, Dan Kneen, Conor Cummins and Christian Elkin.
“I'm also looking forward to seeing one of the higher profile newcomers' first outing at the Ulster – Gary Dunlop.
“His dad [Joey] loved Dundrod and it's going to be something special to see him there. I've never let anyone since Joey ride as number 3, but who better to use it than Gary and I think it'll be pretty special to see it on the grid after all these years.”
The event takes place from August 10-13, incorporating the Dundrod 150 National meeting on Thursday, August 11, which includes a Superbike race involving all the big names ahead of the main race day on Saturday, August 13.