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Ulster GP: Hutchinson edges Dunlop for Superstock win

Tyco BMW's Ian Hutchinson got the better of Michael Dunlop in a thrilling Superstock race at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix.
Ian Hutchinson completed a clean sweep of Superstock victories at the big three international road races in 2016 with a close fought win over Michael Dunlop at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix.

The fierce rivals went head to head in a thrilling six-lap race at Dundrod, with Dunlop leading for most of the way on his MD Racing BMW as Hutchinson appeared content to sit on his rear wheel.

The Bingley Bullet had to fight his way through from 15th place on the grid after qualifying was held in damp conditions on Thursday, but Hutchinson was into the lead by the end of lap one from Derek Sheils and Peter Hickman.

GBmoto Kawasaki's Hickman had opened a gap of 2.5 seconds on the first lap but began to lose ground and eventually retired at the end of lap two with a rear tyre puncture.

Dunlop had grabbed the lead at the start of lap three with Hutchinson giving chase, while Manx rider Dan Kneen was going strongly in third on the Mar-Train Yamaha.

The top three began to pull away from Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki, who was in a battle for fourth with Dublin rider Sheils (Shirlaw Kawasaki) and Conor Cummins on the Valvoline Padgetts Honda.

There was little to choose between Dunlop and Hutchinson on the final laps as they broke clear of Kneen, setting up a dramatic final lap.

Dunlop still led at the Deer's Leap but Hutchinson - who lapped at 132.292mph - had forced his nose to the front at Jordan's Cross and the Yorkshire rider held on to win by 0.261 seconds at the finish.

Harrison claimed fourth ahead of Cummins, with Gary Johnson an excellent sixth on the East Coast/Burdens BMW. Sheils and Steve Mercer (Devitt RC Express Kawasaki) were the top eight.

Related Pictures

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Ian Hutchinson leads Dan Kneen in the Superstock race at the Ulster Grand Prix.
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.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.

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