RR »

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
Italian rider Dario Cecconi has died after an accident at the Tandragee 100.
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.

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.