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Ulster GP: Michael Dunlop eyes Superbike glory

'If you look at my times at the TT I could have done a 134mph lap, but Dundrod is the place where we really need to step it up now' - Michael Dunlop.
Michael Dunlop is gunning for a clean sweep of international Superbike wins at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix this week.

Dunlop set a new outright lap record at the North West 200 as he won the sole Superbike race in May on his Hawk Racing BMW.

The 27-year-old then completed a Superbike and Senior double at the Isle of Man TT, where the Ulster rider set another outright lap record as he went close to an average speed of 134mph lap around the Mountain Course, raising the benchmark to 133.962mph.

Saturday's two Superbike races at Dundrod are Dunlop's primary objectives as he goes head-to-head once more with TT rival Ian Hutchinson, who is seeking his first Ulster GP victory since 2010.

“I've had a good year already with wins in the big bike races at the internationals so I'm happy enough,” said Dunlop.

“If you look at my times at the TT I could have done a 134mph lap, but Dundrod is the place where we really need to step it up now. For sure the wind and the tyres will be big things, but we're supposed to be in for a good turn in the weather and the track is looking really good so we should be alright.”

Flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey remains the outright lap record holder at Dundrod thanks to his 133.977mph lap in 2010, giving the 7.4-mile Dundrod course its proud status as the fastest road race in the world.

Anstey lines up on the Valvoline Padgetts Honda RC213V-S MotoGP machine and is a major contender for Superbike honours along with Dunlop and Hutchinson.

There is plenty of hype surrounding the possibility of the first 134mph lap, but Dunlop's main focus is on finding the best set-up for his BMW S1000RR heading into Saturday's main event.

“The big bike is good. We've had a couple of problems with the other two but we should have them sorted easily enough,” he said.

“We just need to work with what we've got here and try to make a good package for Saturday. I want to be right for Saturday's race, that's the big one.”

A new Superpole session introduced this year sees the fastest 10 Superbike riders vying for their place on the grid on Thursday, with Lee Johnston – a treble winner last year – Peter Hickman, Dean Harrison, William Dunlop, Conor Cummins and Dan Kneen also among the leading contenders.

Practice commences on Wednesday and continues on Thursday, followed by the Dundrod 150 National meeting in the evening, when all the big names will be in action in the Superbike race, which will whet the appetite for Saturday's feature races.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Dunlop
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.
Peter Hickman on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Peter Hickman in action at the 50th Macau Grand Prix on the Bathams/SMT BMW.
Michael Rutter on the Bathams/SMT BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Martin Jessopp on the Riders Motorcycles BMW at the Macau Grand Prix.
Michael Rutter and John McGuinness during the pre-event press conference ahead of the 50th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Michael Rutter topped the opening practice session for the 2016 Macau Grand Prix.
Action from the 2016 North West 200
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 during the Classic Superbike race at the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Black Eagle MV Agusta at the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Black Eagle MV Agusta at the Classic TT.
Bruce Anstey won the Lightweight race at the Classic TT on the Padgetts Honda RS250.
John McGuinness on the Winfield Paton at the Classic TT.
Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts RS250 Honda at the Classic TT.

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