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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.
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki in the Senior TT.
Peter Hickman in the Senior TT on the Smiths BMW.
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki in the Senior TT.
Bruce Anstey on his way to victory in the TT Zero race.
Guy Martin on the Honda Racing Superbike.
Alan Bonner was killed in an incident at the 33rd Milestone.
Jochem van den Hoek.
Michael Rutter took victory in the Lightweight TT on the Italian Paton.
Dan Kneen celebrates with his team after sealing his maiden Isle of Man TT rostrum in the Superstock race.
Ian Hutchinson celebrates his Superstock victory.
Ian Hutchinson on his way to victory in the Superstock TT on the Tyco BMW.
Davey Lambert in the RST Superbike race.
A Sidecar narrowly missed spectators in an incident that was captured in a video posted on YouTube.
James Hillier on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki in the opening Supersport TT race.
Michael Dunlop in the Supersport TT.
Michael Dunlop on his Yamaha in the Supersport TT.
Peter Hickman claimed his maiden podium at the Isle of Man TT with a runner-up finish in the RST Superbike race.

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