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Ulster GP: Hutchinson wins Superbike showpiece

Tyco BMW's Ian Hutchinson sealed a double at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix with a narrow win over Bruce Anstey in the feature Superbike race at Dundrod.
Ian Hutchinson made it a double at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix with a stunning victory in the feature Superbike race at Dundrod.

The Bingley Bullet chalked up his maiden win in the Superbike class at the big international road races this year with a narrow win over Bruce Anstey on the Valvoline Padgetts Honda RCV.

Kiwi Anstey had taken pole position during the Superpole session on Saturday ahead of Michael Dunlop and Hutchinson, with the British Superbike-style qualifier being held at a road race for the first time.

In a blistering showpiece race, Tyco BMW's Hutchinson led the way from Anstey and Dunlop on lap one with Peter Hickman on the GBmoto Kawasaki right on their rear wheels in fourth.

The flying quartet swapped places until Hickman suffered cruel misfortune with his ZX-10R, retiring at Wheelers on the fifth lap with a problem. The British Superbike rider had the consolation of setting the fastest lap of the race at 133.892mph, which was just shy of Bruce Anstey's 2010 outright lap record of 133.977mph.

That left Anstey, Hutchinson and Dunlop to fight it out for the lead as the trio broke away from Honda Racing's Conor Cummins in fourth, who was under pressure from fellow Manxman Dan Kneen (Mar-Train Yamaha) and Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki).

Hawk Racing BMW rider Dunlop couldn't quite get his nose to the front as Anstey and Hutchinson played a game of cat and mouse.

Slower riders came into the equation on the last lap, with Dunlop coming off worse as he dropped back on the S1000RR.

It was Hutchinson, though, who managed to get ahead when it mattered and although Anstey rallied after losing time when the leaders encountered slower riders, the Yorkshire rider snatched a coveted win by two-tenths-of-a-second from Anstey, with Dunlop three seconds behind as he sealed the final rostrum position.

Ramsey rider Cummins came out on top of the battle for fourth, 10.3 seconds behind Hutchinson.

Harrison and Kneen were the top six, with William Dunlop on the MMB Yamaha and Steve Mercer (RC Express Kawasaki) in seventh and eighth respectively.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW Superbike during Isle of Man TT practice.
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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