ROAD RACING DAILY NEWS AUGUST 2017

Harrison Increases Lead After Superbike Classic TT 

Current Duke Road Race Rankings Champion Dean Harrison consolidated his lead in the 2017 Series after round 20, the Bennett's Classic TT after taking the chequered flag in the Motorsport Merchandise Superbike race. 

The popular Yorkshireman now enjoys a 569 point advantage over his fellow Yorkshire neighbour and 2014 Rankings winner James Cowton. 

Cowton in turn, is 305 points ahead of 2013 winner Michael Dunlop, who is just 22 points ahead of yet another Yorkshireman Jamie Coward who moves into fourth spot after his second and third places in the Senior and Junior Classic TT's. 

Fifth place is currently held by Ireland's Derek McGee, a mere four points ahead of Lincolnshire rider Ivan Lintin in sixth. 

In seventh position is another Yorkshireman Joe Thompson, who is the only other rider who has amassed over 1000 points this season with 20 of the 24 rounds having been run. 

Photo: RCphotos

Tuesday race day revised schedule. 

RACE DAY TWO

ISLE OF MAN FESTIVAL OF MOTORCYCLING

TUESDAY 29TH AUGUST 2017


11.30 Roads Close around the Course

12.00 Sure Junior Classic TT Race (3 laps)

13.40 Classic Racer Magazine Classic TT Retro Parade (1 lap)

13.50 Steve Plater Honda 6 Parade lap (1 lap)

14.40 Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Classic TT Race (4 Laps)

17.00 Roads open around the Course

18.00 Roads close around the Course

18.15 Manx Grand Prix Newcomers Race (A&B) (3 laps)

19.40 Manx Grand Prix Junior & Lightweight Qualifying (1 lap)

20.10 Roads scheduled to open around the course but no later than 21.00

Photo taken by Ryan Crawley of @RCPhotosIOM

Amendment to the result of the Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT

During post race scrutineering, a technical infringement was found in the Red Fox Grinta Racing machine ridden by Michael Rutter in the Lightweight Classic TT Race.

Michael Rutter has therefore been removed from the results with Ian Lougher promoted to second place and Ivan Lintin on the John Chapman Racing Honda is now awarded the third place finish.

Photo: @RCPhotos - Ryan Crawley

Lee Johnston will miss Classic Superbike TT after Jurby incident. 

Fermanagh man Lee Johnston will sit out the Classic TT Superbike race following a crash at Jurby. 

Johnston may still be fit enough to ride the lighter Black Eagle Racing MV Augusta in the junior category but it has been confirmed that he will not ride for Team Classic Suzuki in the Motorsport Merchandise Superbike race. 

Photo credit: RCphotos

Sunday Racing Confirmed for Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic 2018 

Southern 100 Racing, organisers of the Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races are pleased to confirm that the 2018 days and dates are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 25th, 26th & 27th May.

Contingency plans are in place, as the TT organisers have indicated that should circumstances dictate that the opening practise session of the 2018 TT on the Saturday evening (26th May) be cancelled, the session would be moved to the Sunday afternoon (27th). 

Should this be the situation, the Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races would move forward to the Bank Holiday Monday 28th May. 

2018 will be the 30th Anniversary of the Pre-TT Classic Road Races and the 15th year that Blackford Financial Services have been title sponsors of this popular curtain-raiser to the TT Festival. The Road Closure times will be: 
 
Friday 25th May: 18:00 (6:00pm) to 21:35 (9.35pm)

Saturday 26th May: 12:10 (12.10pm) to 16:15 (4.15pm) 

Sunday 27th May: 13:00 (1.00pm) to 20:00 (8.00pm) 

Should force majeure cause the Sunday races to have to be moved to the Monday, road closures will be as follows: 

Morning: 9:10 (9:10am) to 12:20 (12:20pm) Afternoon: 13:05 (1:05pm) to 16:10 (4.10pm) 

The Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races have become synonymous with close, competitive racing as well as bringing a touch of nostalgia, along with the exotic sounds and smells of past racing periods to today’s racing enthusiasts. 

The inaugural races in 1988 had four races, including sidecars and have now grown to ten races, such is the attraction of racing on the 4.25-mile Billown Course. 

The unique Open Air Prize Presentation and ‘Concours de Elegance’ will take place the day after the racing in Castletown Square between 14:00 and 16:00, (2:00pm to 4:00pm). 

DAVY MORGAN AND MAGIC BULLET PART COMPANY

Fresh from a hugely popular Ulster Grand Prix lightweight win, Davy Morgan and Magic Bullet Motorsport have decided to amicably part company. 

The official statement released read:

DM71 Road Racing and Magic Bullet Motorsport have decided to go their separate ways. A difference of opinion and new direction for Magic Bullet Motorsport will bring to an end the three year spell working together. Magic Bullet Motorsport will help DM71 Road Racing in a small financial capacity with transport costs until the end of this season. The productive relationship brought Davy numerous top ten results at Irish National Road Races alongside race wins at Scarborough and Southern 100 on the Magic Bullet Motorsport R6 Yamaha. 

Davy Morgan would like to put on public record his thanks to Magic Bullet Motorsport for the supply of their R6 Yamaha over the past three years and wish team principal Stanley Watson and his team the best for the future and every success with their plans moving forward.

Davy is now on the lookout for a Supersport machine for his remaining outings of the 2017 season at the East Coast Racing Festival (formerly Killalane) and Steve Henshaw Gold Cup at Scarborough. Please get in touch if you can and would like to help.

Photo: Donal Glackin

Ulster Grand Prix Supertwins report as record breaker Ivan Lintin wins Dundrod thriller!

Ivan Lintin won a scintillating Supertwins race at Saturday's Ulster Grand Prix, seeing off a close challenge by Dan Cooper. 

The eventual winning margin was a mere 0.024s in what was easily one of the tightest finishes ever seen at the world's fastest road race. 

James Cowton was a pre-race threat to both Lintin and Cooper but the McAdoo racing rider began to drop back and left both Cooper and Lintin tussling for the win with the Dafabet Devitt Racing rider coming out on top. 

Lap after lap the records tumbled as both riders pushed one another into never before seen territory. Eventually the 120mph barrier had to break and break it did as Lintin posted a quite sensational time of 120.402mph. 

Cooper however stole the lead on the last lap before a sensational overtaking move towards the end of the race grabbed the win for Lintin. 

One of the most memorable and amazing races seen at Dundrod in recent memory. 

Northern Ireland's Adam McLean, 22 seconds down the road rounded out the last podium spot. 

Photo by Pacemaker press

Superbike spoils shared between Anstey and Harrison at Ulster Grand Prix

In what was a record breaking day at Dundrod, and in possibly the best race seen at the UGP since Joey Dunlop's famous victory in 1999, the 'Flying Kiwi', Bruce Anstey won the feature superbike race on board his sweetly sounding Padgett's Racing Honda RCV. 

A titanic tussle throughout between Anstey, Hickman, Harrison, Kneen and Cummins, resulted in some serious lap times being set. 

Anstey broke the lap record twice himself before Silicone Engineering's Dean Harrison set a blistering and unequalled lap of 134.614mph to become the fastest road racer in the world. 

That good form was to follow the Englishman as Harrison followed up his lap record with a superbike win in the final race of the day. Tussling with Manx riders Dan Kneen and Conor Cummins, Harrison sealed his maiden Ulster Grand Prix win to cap off what many will hail as one of the best international road race meetings ever. 

Hickman relaxed and ready for MCE Ulster Grand Prix race day
 
Peter Hickman says he’s feeling confident ahead of Saturday’s MCE Ulster Grand Prix, but that he expects some close racing in all three of his classes.
 
The Smiths Racing star has been a dominant force at Dundrod this year, claiming provisional pole for Saturday’s Superbike races, pole for the Superstock and Supersport outings, and setting a new outright lap record on his way to winning the feature Dundrod 150 Topaz Airport Road Superbike race.
 
“Everything has been going good. The Smiths BMW has been working really well, and it’s been mega all week. I can’t complain,” Hickman said.
 
“I’m feeling confident going into Saturday but qualifying and practice are one thing and then racing is another, so you never really know what’s going to happen.
 
“Nobody is that far behind, it’s not like we’re miles in front. The pole on stock and Superbike are by like 0.1 of a second so we’re not running away with everything, as much as it might seem that way sometimes. It’s all close, the boys will keep me honest and I’m looking forward to a bit of a battle. We want some real good racing for everyone to enjoy and fingers crossed we still come out on top.”
 
When asked if there were any mechanical changes planned ahead of Saturday, the 30 year-old said there wasn’t much the team needed to do: “Not even a click. We’ll kick the tyres a bit and put some fuel in and we’re good to go.”
 
He also reflected on breaking Ian Hutchinson’s outright record around Dundrod with a 132.210mph lap on his Smiths BMW Superbike.
 
“Track conditions were really good on both Wednesday and Thursday so we got some good practice in. Everything just worked out and then in the race I was really happy. I knew I needed to try and get away but it’s difficult to do that at Dundrod.
 
“The slipstream means even if you are half a second or a second faster than someone they can make it all back on the straights. I got a good start and didn’t really see anyone all race.
 
“I just wanted to put my head down for the first couple of laps and then we managed to break the lap record, but by that point I think we had a three second gap so I just backed off a little and managed the race from there. Laps three and four were fast so I thought if anyone comes with me then fair play, we’ll have a race on our hands.”
 
Hickman’s comments came as MMB Surfacing were confirmed as the official sponsors of the opening Superbike race at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix, a company which itself has a strong racing connection.
 
The business is owned by former Grand Prix racer Eugene McManus and his
brother Danny, and Eugene’s son Eugene Jr is also an up and coming star in
the British Motostar championship.
 
Discussing his season so far, Hickman and his prospects for 2018, McManus
Jr said: “I’ve had a good year so far, I’m fourth in the championship and I
came close to a win at Thruxton at the weekend. I thought it was going to
come but hopefully we can get that first win this season. We’re taking it one
step at a time and then we’ll decide on the plan for next year.
 
The E15 / RS Racing rider added that Hickman is one of the riders he aspires
to in the MCE British Superbike Championship: “He’s does a great all-round
job and he’s one of those riders that’s getting faster and faster. He’s been
amazing around Dundrod this week.”
 
Tickets for the MCE Ulster Grand Prix are available to buy at the Race Office in the paddock, on the roads approaching the circuit, in Topaz Airport Road Service Station and Centra Whitemountain Service Station.

William Dunlop confirms Dundrod withdrawal. 

William Dunlop, the first man to break the 200mph barrier at the world's fastest road race, has confirmed his withdrawal from action from racing on Saturday. 

The Ballymoney man sustained an injury that has now prevented him from challenging for victory at the Ulster Grand Prix when he was beginning to stun the field with his pace. 

Dunlop had this to say:

"First man to break 200mph at the UGP road races. Unfortunately we won't get the chance to better it. The injury is just too bad". 

It's a hammer blow to the popular rider who was finally turning an indifferent season around and showing some serious promise. 

Get well soon William. 

Hickman claims hat-trick of pole positions for the MCE Ulster Grand Prix
 
Peter Hickman continued his strong form from Wednesday’s practice sessions to claim provisional pole position for the Superbike races and pole for the Superstock and Supersport classes at Saturday’s MCE Ulster Grand Prix.
 
The 30-year old, riding the Smiths Racing BMW Superbike and Trooper Beer by Smiths Triumph, has been a dominant force so far at Dundrod this week, but as practice ends the chasing pack isn’t too far behind.
 
In the Superbike class, Hickman’s lap of 133.560mph was the fastest of the day, followed by Dan Kneen, who is just 0.560 seconds behind on the Tyco BMW. Bruce Anstey, Conor Cummins, William Dunlop, and Michael Dunlop will complete the first two rows. The full running order for the Superbike class will be determined in Saturday’s Superpole session.
 
Before Hickman’s flying lap it was William Dunlop who was the early leader in the session, and he also became the fastest ever rider to pass through the Dundrod speed traps at 200.4mph. An injured clutch hand has again proven to be no major hindrance for the Ballymoney man, although it remains to be seen how he will fare over race distance come Saturday.
 
In the Superstock class, Hickman’s 132.334mph lap was enough to secure pole, and he was once again closely followed by Dean Harrison at an average speed of 132.236mph. The duo look like the men to beat come Saturday, as third place Dan Kneen was a few seconds back on the Tyco BMW, with Jamie Coward securing a fantastic fourth place.
 
Saturday’s Supersport grid will also feel familiar with Hickman at the front, and Harrison, Anstey, Lee Johnston, William Dunlop and brother Michael completing the front two rows. Christian Elkin was another rider running high for most of the 600 qualifying session, eventually finishing eighth ahead of young local Paul Jordan and Adam McLean in ninth and tenth.
 
Following practice, racing will get underway at the Charles Hurst Motorcycles Dundrod 150.
 
Fans can buy tickets to attend the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix and Charles Hurst Motorcycles Dundrod 150. Tickets are available to buy at the Race Office in the paddock, on the roads approaching the circuit during Bike Week, in Topaz Airport Road Service Station and Centra Whitemountain Service Station.
 
The international MCE Ulster Grand Prix Bike Week will run until 12th August in Dundrod, County Antrim.
 
MCE Ulster Grand Prix Superbike qualifying (combined)
1. Peter Hickman (133.560mph)
2. Dan Kneen (133.186mph)
3. Bruce Anstey (132.948mph)
4. Conor Cummins (132.651mph)
5. William Dunlop (132.606mph)
 
MCE Ulster Grand Prix Superstock qualifying (combined)
1. Peter Hickman (132.334mph)
2. Dean Harrison (127.258mph)
3. Dan Kneen (130.732mph)
4. Jamie Coward (130.425mph)
5. Dave Johnson (130.303mph)
 
MCE Ulster Grand Prix Supersport qualifying (combined)
1. Peter Hickman (127.333mph)
2. Dean Harrison (127.258mph)
3. Bruce Anstey (126.399mph)
4. Lee Johnston (126.370mph)
5. William Dunlop (125.995mph)
 

Hickman leads the way as practice gets started at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix

Peter Hickman lived up to his billing as one of the pre-race favourites at this year’s MCE Ulster Grand Prix, with the MCE BSB racer topping the timesheets in the MCE UGP Superbike, Supersport and Charles Hurst Motorcycles Dundrod 150 Superbike classes as practice got underway.
 
The 30 year-old set the day’s fastest lap of 132.453mph on his Smiths BMW,
and then even more impressively claimed the second fastest time on his stock
machine. Bruce Anstey and Conor Cummins finished third and fourth, followed by William Dunlop, Dean Harrison, Dan Kneen and Michael Dunlop.
 
It was a similar story in the first Dundrod 150 Superbike session earlier in the day, when Hickman topped the timesheets with a 131.757mph lap, again ahead of Padgetts duo Bruce Anstey and Conor Cummins. The trio have been the early pace setters and all three have already proven they have what it takes to win a big bike race at Dundrod.
 
William Dunlop followed home in fourth, with Derek Sheils and Michael Dunlop in fifth and sixth respectively in a 30 minute session where all riders were finding their feet on the big bikes and adjusting setup.
 
Hickman then made it a hat trick of fastest laps on the smaller Supersport machines, finishing 0.084 seconds ahead of Bruce Anstey and 0.749 ahead of Dean Harrison in a hotly contested 40-minute practice. William Dunlop, who narrowly missed out on a win in the class last year, was fourth as he showed a minor hand injury isn’t going to slow him down too much this Bike Week.  
 
In the combined Dundrod 150 National and Challenge session, newcomers Joey Thompson and Rob Hodson put in impressive performances, both setting 119mph laps to secure the top two times, while Scottish racer Robert Wilson was third on the Stoddart Racing Yamaha. All of the riders were able to make the most of the dry track time, and it sets the scene for a close race on Thursday.
 
On the Ultralightweight machines Paul Robinson led the way ahead of Christian Elkin, with both riders unofficially dipping below the Moto3 lap record (times set in practice aren’t eligible). Behind them were Joey Thompson, Gary Dunlop and Paul Jordan on the Joey’s Bar MCC Honda.
 
The Lightweight class meanwhile was dominated by Bruce Anstey, making his first appearance at Dundrod on the Padgett’s RS250. The flying Kiwi set a 113.420 lap to finish over seven seconds clear of Neil Kernohan, Davy Morgan and Callum Laidlaw. He starts the races this week as firm favourite, but the battle for the podium is anything but decided.
 
Former race-winner Ivan Lintin was resurgent in the Supertwins practice, leading another close-fought session ahead of James Cowton, Derek McGee, Derek Shiels and Daniel Cooper. It was a case of the usual suspects, but that’s going to be no bad thing as fans can look forward to another tight race.

Ulster Grand Prix Supersport qualifying 1 

Peter Hickman repeated his earlier superbike form as he topped the table in the 600cc class at Dundrod on Wednesday evening. 

Riding the popular Trooper faired machine, the ever improving Hickman tussled with Dundrod Supersport old hand, Bruce Anstey throughout. 

With less than 4 seconds covering the top 10 rider, it's shaping up to be another Supersport sensation at the world's fastest road race. 

1. Peter Hickman
2. Bruce Anstey
3. Dean Harrison
4. William Dunlop
5. Derek McGee   
6. Lee Johnston 
7. Michael Dunlop
8. Conor Cummins
9. Jamie Coward 
10. Adam McClean
11. James Cowton
12. Christian Elkin
13. Paul jordan
14. Ivan Lintin 
15. Dan Cooper 
16. Joey Thompson 
17. Sam West 
18. Gavin Lupton
19. Daniel Hegarty
20. Michael Sweeney 

Harrison out to bridge the gap with Superbike podium at Dundrod
 
Silicone Engineering Racing’s Dean Harrison is confident he can score a good result at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix and close the gap further on the front-runners in the Superbike class.
 
The 28 year-old has enjoyed a stellar 2017 season, with breakthrough Superbike podiums at the Isle of Man TT, seven wins at the Cock O’The North meeting at Scarborough and a first solo title at the Southern 100.
 
Dundrod however, hasn’t always been a happy hunting ground for Harrison, but he’s hoping that this year he can continue his strong season as practice gets underway.
 
Speaking as McKinstry Skip Hire confirmed their first year as Superpole sponsors, Dean said: “I’m feeling good to be honest. I’ve had good results at most places this year and I’m really looking forward to getting out this week.
 
“I’m now at that stage where I’ve got a good idea of where I’m going around Dundrod, so I’m confident. I feel like I can definitely push for podium in all classes.
 
“In terms of targets, of course I enjoy riding all of the bikes, but I’ll definitely be trying hard on the Superbike. Hickman and Michael Dunlop are probably the favourites and they are riding really well, but I think we can be in the mix.
 
“The big bikes are where I wanted to progress this year because I think you need to be able to ride the Superbike well to prove yourself, and it’s where we’ve made the most progress.  
 
“That’s the class I put a lot of time into, but then we’ve also made quite a few changes to the engine for this week too, so it will be a bit of trial and error. We’ve a new MoTeC ignition system to try out on the ZX10, but fingers crossed it will be a flying machine. We’re doing the last four rounds of BSB later in the year, so if nothing else it will be good to get some laps under our belt to see what it’s like.”
 
The Bradford racer, who will stay with the Silicone Engineering Racing team for a third year in 2018, is also one The Clerk of the Course at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix, Noel Johnston tips to be among the main contenders.

“This season it feels like Dean has really come of age, especially after his performance on the big bikes at the TT and Southern 100. He’s coming to Dundrod in rich vein of form and I’m confident it’s going to continue, especially as he’s got the same team behind him.”
 
Fans can buy tickets to attend the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix and Charles Hurst Motorcycles Dundrod 150. Tickets are available to buy at the Race Office in the paddock, on the roads approaching the circuit during Bike Week, in Topaz Airport Road Service Station and Centra Whitemountain Service Station.
 

Anstey out to reclaim Dundrod lap record as MCE UGP gets underway
 
Flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey has set his sights on the outright lap record at Dundrod as he makes his final preparations for race day at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix.
 
The Padgett’s Honda racer famously lapped at an average of 133.977mph aboard his Relentless Suzuki in 2010 and his record stood right through to 2016, when Ian Hutchinson finally broke the 134mph barrier.
 
Anstey however, says there is a lot more to come from the circuit, commenting: “Right conditions, we’ll be pushing each other and pushing 135 I reckon. I’d really like to have the record back to be honest, but we’ll see what happens. I’ll be trying”.
 
The 48 year-old is set to have a busy week at Dundrod, not only riding the RC213V-S in the Superbike class, but also returning to his roots with an appearance on the RS250 he’ll compete on at the Classic TT.
 
Speaking as Around a Pound confirmed their ongoing sponsorship of the 2nd Superbike race, Anstey said: “I’ve got a good chance on everything really, and this is the first time I’ve run a 250 around here so I’m looking forward to that. It’ll be pretty much flat out everywhere and it’s going to be good fun to ride, but the 600 is good as well”.
 
The 2017 season has been challenging so far for the famously laid-back Anstey, but he’s already put previous races behind him to give it everything at Dundrod.
 
“At the North West I just struggled to get going and it was the same at the Isle of Man. Then in the Senior we got up into the top five and the bike let go. The season has been pretty rubbish, but I don’t really feel any pressure here. I just want to ride well, give it 100% and see how we get on.”
 
The New Zealander currently sits fourth in the list of all-time winners at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix with 12 victories to his name, the last of which came in 2016 when he won the Centra Whitemountain Supersport race.
 
The Clerk of the Course at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix, Noel Johnston added: ‘It’s been a bit of a tough year for Bruce so far, but you’d be crazy to bet against him at Dundrod. He can pull a little bit extra out of the bag when he needs to and I think with the extra incentive of the lap record he’ll be in the mix for sure.
 
“One thing that you can guarantee though is that he’ll be one of the best sounding competitors out there, as between the RC213V-S and the RS250, it’s going to be fantastic for the fans. I can’t wait to see what he can do in every class.”
 
Fans can buy tickets to attend the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix and Charles Hurst Motorcycles Dundrod 150. Tickets are available to buy at the Race Office in the paddock, on the roads approaching the circuit during Bike Week, in Topaz Airport Road Service Station and Centra Whitemountain Service Station.
 
The international MCE Ulster Grand Prix Bike Week will run between 6th – 12th August in Dundrod, County Antrim.

Few Ulster Grand Prix's have been as hotly anticipated as this year's meeting. 

Opinions are divided as to which rider will leave Dundrod with the main honours because as so many riders are hitting top form right at the optimum time. 

The lap record (average speed) for the Dundrod Circuit is 134.089 mph (215.795 km/h) set by Ian Hutchinson riding a Tyco BMW S1000RR during the 2016 Ulster Grand Prix, however, Hutchinson will be a notable absence this year following his accident at the Isle Of Man during the senior TT. 

Michael Dunlop has been steadily making improvements since his stunning senior TT win on board the Suzuki GSXR 1000. The Ballymoney man also bagged himself a Supersport TT win on the island and had even more success in the premier class when he returned to contest the Southern 100 in July. His last outing before the UGP was at Armoy where he blew away the field on his way to winning a seventh straight Race Of Legends title. 

Peter Hickman, fresh from a BSB win at Thruxton and a successful Isle Of Man TT which saw the Englishman stand on the podium five times from five races, will be the main competition for Dunlop. Many will see Hickman as favourite given his form and few would bet against him. 

Dean Harrison is the current Duke Road Race Rankings leader and the Silicone Engineering rider has made huge strides in 2017. Leading the Superbike TT at the Isle Of Man will have given the Englishman serous confidence. He eventually finished third and mirrored that result in he senior TT. He also added a lap in excess of 132mph to join a very exclusive club and stake him claim as an elite level rider. 

The 2015 Ulster Grand Prix 'man of the meeting' , Lee Johnston had a lucky escape at the Isle Of Man TT this year, but he has bounced back and will be fit to contest this year's event. The hat-trick hero from 2015 will be seeking to repeat that success which saw him victorious in both Supersport races, and the Superstock race too. 

After eight years of trying, Manx rider Dan Kneen finally gained a TT podium in 2017 having consistently posted quick times throughout practice. After the withdrawal of Ian Hutchinson, Kneen has signed up with Tyco BMW for this year's Ulster Grand Prix and will be one to watch. 

Seven time UGP winner William Dunlop is a huge fan favourite and every fan knows how cool, classy and quick the Ballymoney man is, and how he can make Dundrod his own. William will surely be one to watch. 

Bruce Anstey, 'The Flying Kiwi' hasn't had an illustrious year thus far in 2017 by his high standards, but with the powerful RCV, his fondness for a Supersport machine, and his ever professional Padgetts Team behind him, the 12 time Ulster Grand Prix winner can't be discounted.  

www.ulstergrandprix.net

MOST WINS AT THE ULSTER GRAND PRIX

JOEY DUNLOP - 24 IAN LOUGHER - 18 PHILLIP MCCALLEN - 14 BRUCE ANSTEY - 12 GUY MARTIN - 11 BRIAN REID - 9 ROBERT DUNLOP - 9 RYAN FARQUHAR - 9 IAN HUTCHINSON - 9 STANLEY WOODS - 7 MIKE HAILWOOD - 7 WILLIAM DUNLOP - 7 GIACOMO AGOSTINI - 7 RAY MCCULLOUGH - 7 BOB JACKSON - 7 JOHN SURTEES - 6 JOHN WILLIAMS - 6 BILL SWALLOW - 6 MICHAEL DUNLOP - 6 CARLO UBBIALI - 5 TONY RUTTER - 5 TOM HERRON - 5 RON HASLAM - 5 EDDIE LAYCOCK - 5 DARRAN LINDSAY - 5 WAL HANDLEY - 5 MAURICE CANN - 5 LUIGI TAVERI - 4 JIM REDMAN - 4 IAIN DUFFUS - 4 JASON GRIFFITHS - 4 DAVID JEFFERIES - 4 ADRIAN ARCHIBALD - 4 JOE CRAIG - 4  

MCE BSB and roads star Hickman has Dundrod lap record in his sights
 
Smith’s Racing BMW rider Peter Hickman has stated he thinks the lap record could easily be smashed at Dundrod as the 2017 MCE Ulster Grand Prix bike week gets underway.
 
The MCE BSB star has been on red-hot form this year, currently in the sixth and final showdown spot, and securing five podiums out of five races at this year’s Isle of Man TT.
 
Louth-based Hickman achieved his first ever international road race win at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix in 2015 in just his second year at the event, which is the world’s fastest road race.
 
Speaking about the lap record, which Ian Hutchinson broke in 2016 when he reached 134.089mph, Hickman said: “I definitely think we could go a lot faster than 134mph.
 
“It all depends on the conditions obviously, if we can have a good couple of days of practice and get to Saturday with some good laps under our belt then I don’t see why we can’t push it up to maybe 135 or 136mph.
 
“It’d be great to have a lap record around a road circuit, apart from my newcomer record at the TT I’ve not had an outright lap record anywhere on the roads so it’d be nice to do something like that, and good to do it at the Ulster.”
 
30-year-old Hickman credits the ongoing support of his team, Smith’s Racing, as having a big part to play in his success.
 
“I’m very happy with where I am and I have the right people around me. Being able to hit the ground running at the start of the season gives you a competitive edge when you go testing and we’ve done a lot of development with the team. Every time I get on the bikes there’s something new to try and that’s a real big part of being able to move forward.
 
 
“It’s been a really strong year for me, the BMW has been working really well, we’ve managed to find a little bit of a sweet spot with it, which makes life a lot easier.
 
“We want to turn up at Dundrod and have some good racing and at least be on the podium a few times and we want wins as well, that’s why we’re turning up. I can’t see why we can’t be in the top three in all the classes.
 
“I’m expecting there to be a few of us at the front, and hopefully we’ll put on some good racing for the fans; Michael Dunlop, Dean Harrison, Dan Kneen and Conor Cummins should all be in the mix.
 
“Dundrod is just an untouched, proper circuit, just as it should be. It’s fast, it’s flowing, it hasn’t had to be adapted with chicanes to try and make it safer; it already is as safe as you can make a road race, even though it is ridiculously fast.
 
“It’s just such a good circuit to ride around, it makes me smile from the second I go out.
 
“I enjoy riding on the roads so much, it’s so much fun, and I also enjoy the British Superbikes, and I’m fast doing both which is why I get so much excitement from both. For me it’s all about riding bikes as much as possible,” he added.
 
Clerk of the Course at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix Noel Johnston said: “Hicky is on superb form this year, and let’s not forget he was the fastest ever man through our speed trap last year at 199.8mph.
 
“He’s just a real natural talent and the beauty of it is that despite how well he’s riding at the moment, I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet. With the right set of circumstances, he could be serious contender for the MCE UGP Man of the Meeting,” he added.
 
Bike Week runs from the 6th – 12th August 2017 and includes the Charles Hurst Motorcycles Dundrod 150 and the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix road races. Tickets are now available to buy from the Race Office in the paddock, Topaz Airport Road Service Station and Centra Whitemountain Service Station.MCE BSB and roads star Hickman has Dundrod lap record in his sights
 
Smith’s Racing BMW rider Peter Hickman has stated he thinks the lap record could easily be smashed at Dundrod as the 2017 MCE Ulster Grand Prix bike week gets underway.
 
The MCE BSB star has been on red-hot form this year, currently in the sixth and final showdown spot, and securing five podiums out of five races at this year’s Isle of Man TT.
 
Louth-based Hickman achieved his first ever international road race win at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix in 2015 in just his second year at the event, which is the world’s fastest road race.
 
Speaking about the lap record, which Ian Hutchinson broke in 2016 when he reached 134.089mph, Hickman said: “I definitely think we could go a lot faster than 134mph.
 
“It all depends on the conditions obviously, if we can have a good couple of days of practice and get to Saturday with some good laps under our belt then I don’t see why we can’t push it up to maybe 135 or 136mph.
 
“It’d be great to have a lap record around a road circuit, apart from my newcomer record at the TT I’ve not had an outright lap record anywhere on the roads so it’d be nice to do something like that, and good to do it at the Ulster.”
 
30-year-old Hickman credits the ongoing support of his team, Smith’s Racing, as having a big part to play in his success.
 
“I’m very happy with where I am and I have the right people around me. Being able to hit the ground running at the start of the season gives you a competitive edge when you go testing and we’ve done a lot of development with the team. Every time I get on the bikes there’s something new to try and that’s a real big part of being able to move forward.
 
 
“It’s been a really strong year for me, the BMW has been working really well, we’ve managed to find a little bit of a sweet spot with it, which makes life a lot easier.
 
“We want to turn up at Dundrod and have some good racing and at least be on the podium a few times and we want wins as well, that’s why we’re turning up. I can’t see why we can’t be in the top three in all the classes.
 
“I’m expecting there to be a few of us at the front, and hopefully we’ll put on some good racing for the fans; Michael Dunlop, Dean Harrison, Dan Kneen and Conor Cummins should all be in the mix.
 
“Dundrod is just an untouched, proper circuit, just as it should be. It’s fast, it’s flowing, it hasn’t had to be adapted with chicanes to try and make it safer; it already is as safe as you can make a road race, even though it is ridiculously fast.
 
“It’s just such a good circuit to ride around, it makes me smile from the second I go out.
 
“I enjoy riding on the roads so much, it’s so much fun, and I also enjoy the British Superbikes, and I’m fast doing both which is why I get so much excitement from both. For me it’s all about riding bikes as much as possible,” he added.
 
Clerk of the Course at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix Noel Johnston said: “Hicky is on superb form this year, and let’s not forget he was the fastest ever man through our speed trap last year at 199.8mph.
 
“He’s just a real natural talent and the beauty of it is that despite how well he’s riding at the moment, I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet. With the right set of circumstances, he could be serious contender for the MCE UGP Man of the Meeting,” he added.
 
Bike Week runs from the 6th – 12th August 2017 and includes the Charles Hurst Motorcycles Dundrod 150 and the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix road races. Tickets are now available to buy from the Race Office in the paddock, Topaz Airport Road Service Station and Centra Whitemountain Service Station.MCE BSB and roads star Hickman has Dundrod lap record in his sights
 
Smith’s Racing BMW rider Peter Hickman has stated he thinks the lap record could easily be smashed at Dundrod as the 2017 MCE Ulster Grand Prix bike week gets underway.
 
The MCE BSB star has been on red-hot form this year, currently in the sixth and final showdown spot, and securing five podiums out of five races at this year’s Isle of Man TT.
 
Louth-based Hickman achieved his first ever international road race win at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix in 2015 in just his second year at the event, which is the world’s fastest road race.
 
Speaking about the lap record, which Ian Hutchinson broke in 2016 when he reached 134.089mph, Hickman said: “I definitely think we could go a lot faster than 134mph.
 
“It all depends on the conditions obviously, if we can have a good couple of days of practice and get to Saturday with some good laps under our belt then I don’t see why we can’t push it up to maybe 135 or 136mph.
 
“It’d be great to have a lap record around a road circuit, apart from my newcomer record at the TT I’ve not had an outright lap record anywhere on the roads so it’d be nice to do something like that, and good to do it at the Ulster.”
 
30-year-old Hickman credits the ongoing support of his team, Smith’s Racing, as having a big part to play in his success.
 
“I’m very happy with where I am and I have the right people around me. Being able to hit the ground running at the start of the season gives you a competitive edge when you go testing and we’ve done a lot of development with the team. Every time I get on the bikes there’s something new to try and that’s a real big part of being able to move forward.
 
 
“It’s been a really strong year for me, the BMW has been working really well, we’ve managed to find a little bit of a sweet spot with it, which makes life a lot easier.
 
“We want to turn up at Dundrod and have some good racing and at least be on the podium a few times and we want wins as well, that’s why we’re turning up. I can’t see why we can’t be in the top three in all the classes.
 
“I’m expecting there to be a few of us at the front, and hopefully we’ll put on some good racing for the fans; Michael Dunlop, Dean Harrison, Dan Kneen and Conor Cummins should all be in the mix.
 
“Dundrod is just an untouched, proper circuit, just as it should be. It’s fast, it’s flowing, it hasn’t had to be adapted with chicanes to try and make it safer; it already is as safe as you can make a road race, even though it is ridiculously fast.
 
“It’s just such a good circuit to ride around, it makes me smile from the second I go out.
 
“I enjoy riding on the roads so much, it’s so much fun, and I also enjoy the British Superbikes, and I’m fast doing both which is why I get so much excitement from both. For me it’s all about riding bikes as much as possible,” he added.
 
Clerk of the Course at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix Noel Johnston said: “Hicky is on superb form this year, and let’s not forget he was the fastest ever man through our speed trap last year at 199.8mph.
 
“He’s just a real natural talent and the beauty of it is that despite how well he’s riding at the moment, I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet. With the right set of circumstances, he could be serious contender for the MCE UGP Man of the Meeting,” he added.
 
Bike Week runs from the 6th – 12th August 2017 and includes the Charles Hurst Motorcycles Dundrod 150 and the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix road races. Tickets are now available to buy from the Race Office in the paddock, Topaz Airport Road Service Station and Centra Whitemountain Service Station.

Manx rider Kneen to race for Tyco BMW team at Dundrod
 
Tyco BMW has announced that Manx rider Dan Kneen will ride for them at the 2017 MCE Ulster Grand Prix.
 
With Ian Hutchinson out of contention for the Dundrod meeting due to the injuries he sustained at the Isle of Man TT, former MCE Ulster GP winner Kneen is set to be the team’s only rider at the final international road race of the year.
 
30-year-old Manxman Dan had his most successful TT campaign to date this year, securing both his fastest lap and a debut podium in the Superstock race behind Ian Hutchinson and Peter Hickman.
 
He comes to Dundrod with an impressive Southern 100 performance under his belt too, narrowly missing out on glory in the senior race to Michael Dunlop, who crossed the finish line just 0.12 seconds in front of Kneen.
 
Dan Kneen said: “First of all, it's nice to be asked to ride for Tyco BMW. Obviously, the opportunity has come up, due to Hutchy’s injury, so I'd like to take this opportunity to wish him all the best with his recovery.
 
“It’s also nice to be given the chance on merit, because of the results I've been getting recently and how I'm riding. Things have been going well for me on BMW machinery, so that in itself, should make things easier jumping onto the TAS Racing prepared Tyco BMWs.
 
“TAS are known to be one of the top teams in the paddock and I'm looking forward to working with the lads at the UGP. I'm sure we will have a good time. Thanks also to all my personal sponsors for letting me take this opportunity.”
 
Team Manager Philip Neill said: “With Hutchy out injured we could have taken the opportunity for a well-earned break from our hectic racing schedule, which has also seen our team members in Japan representing BMW Motorrad at the Suzuka 8-Hour last weekend. But we are big fans of the Ulster Grand Prix and as well as having a good record at the event, we very much enjoy bringing the whole show home to race in front of our local fans and race supporters.
 
“Hutchy is almost an impossible man to replace, but Dan has shown great form of late on BMW Motorrad machinery and very much deserves this opportunity at the Ulster Grand Prix. He’s a former winner and has shown recently that he can mix it with the best on the roads on the S1000RR, so we are looking forward to working with him at this year’s event.”  
 
Clerk of the Course at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix Noel Johnston added: “Dan has been riding exceptionally well lately and deserves the chance he’s getting with Philip and the TYCO team.
 
“He’s won at Dundrod before and I think that given his recent form coupled with the team and the BMW machinery that he’s so clearly comfortable with, that this year could represent one of his best chances at further success.”
 
Bike Week runs from the 6th – 12th August 2017 and include the Charles Hurst Motorcycles Dundrod 150 and the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix road races. Tickets are available now on Ticketmaster.

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