Steve Mercer and Jamie Coward will spearhead the Devitt RC Express Kawasaki team's challenge at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix.

The pair have been drafted into the team as replacements for injured duo Ivan Lintin and Alan Bonner, who came off at Scarborough and the Southern 100 respectively in July, ruling themselves out of the Dundrod meeting.

Mercer, whose Jackson Racing team had withdrawn from the Ulster Grand Prix due to personal circumstances and commitments in the World Endurance Championship, said: "The Ulster is certainly one circuit that I enjoy and it's great that I will be able to make the event now thanks to RC Express.

"Alan (Jackson) and the team have been supportive towards the decision for me to ride for RC Express. I'm a racer at the end of the day and this was also an opportunity to continue the form shown at this year's TT, as well as gain some valuable time on the bike ahead of the next endurance round with Jackson Racing.

"RC Express certainly produce a winning package and Ivan has shown what can be achieved, so I am hoping I can do him and the team justice on his bike," ," said the 33-year-old, who has lapped Dundrod in excess of 129mph.

"I'd certainly like to thank Ben (Constable) for the opportunity and also the understanding that has been shown from my team in allowing me to race."

Team principal Ben Constable added: "It's been a tough few weeks for the team. We have our two main riders injured, bikes in a sorry state of repair and the disappointment of not being able to run as fully as we had planned for the Ulster, which is an event we enjoy and take very seriously.

"We knew that Alan's recovery time would be much slower, but there was always a slim chance that Ivan could be fit enough to compete at Ulster.
"Once we knew that Steve and the Jackson Racing team were not heading to the event, it did present an opportunity to have a rider of his talent and speed on Ivan's bike," he added.

"Steve was keen to secure some more bike time and knew that RC Express could provide a strong package for the event. We are really pleased and it's mutually beneficial for both parties at an important international road race."

Coward rode the RC Express Kawasaki at the Barry Sheene Festival at Scarborough and impressed with a fifth place and podium result.

Constable said: "Jamie certainly showed the calibre and potential that we have come to expect in recent years. It was an easy decision to run with him at Scarborough and his performance certainly justified offering him a further ride at Ulster as a stand-in replacement for Alan."


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