PAUL JORDAN BATTLING THUMB INJURY TO BE FIT TO RACE AT 2019 fonaCAB ULSTER GRAND PRIX
Magherafelt’s Paul Jordan is determined to be fit to race at the 2019 fonaCAB Ulster Grand Prix after suffering a broken thumb during a meeting Anglesey in June.
The Dafabet/Devitt’s Kawasaki rider has had an operation on the damaged hand and is confident he will be ready to race at Dundrod on August 5-10.
“I want to be racing at Armoy the week before the Ulster.” Jordan explained during a visit to Dundrod last week.
The injury has been a blow to the 28 year old who had been enjoying some impressive results in 2019 before the Welsh crash. A Supersport win at Kells followed a solid TT where his best result was a 4th place finish in the Lightweight Supertwin race. But it was Jordan’s performance in the opening Supersport race at the North West 200 in May that really highlighted the Magherafelt man’s potential.
Riding Alastair Russell’s Yamaha, Jordan battled for the lead with Alastair Seeley, Dean Harrison, James Hillier and eventual winner, Lee Johnston before his R6 expired on the penultimate lap when he was in 4th place.
“The 600cc is my favourite class and the results at the North West didn’t look as good as it felt.” Jordan smiles.
“I think I can repeat that performance at the Ulster though.”
It was a similarly impressive ride at last year’s UGP that sealed the deal for Jordan with the Dafabet/Devitt’s Kawasaki squad. Drafted in to replace the injured Ivan Lintin at Dundrod, Jordan took two 5th place finishes in the Supersport and Superstock races and a brilliant 4th in the Superbike race. A fastest lap at 131.3mph on a superstock spec ZX10RR convinced team bosses Roy and Ben Constable to retain the Magherafelt man’s services for 2019.
“Dundrod is fast and flowing and that suits my style.” Jordan explains.
“I’ve done a lot of short circuit racing in my career and I prefer that type of track.”
Jordan will once again campaign a superstock spec ZX10RR Kawasaki in both the Superbike and Stocker races at the Ulster plus an ER6 Kawasaki in the Supertwin class. He will also race his R6 Yamaha in Dafabet/Devitt’s colours at Dundrod after deciding to switch from the team’s ZX6RR.
“I think the Yamaha is a wee bit faster than the Kawasaki and I prefer the R6.” Jordan explained.
“I feel I have a good chance in the 600cc race at the Ulster and want to be able to fight for a win.
I’ve been going well on the supertwin too this year and even on the big bike I think there is potential for a podium finish. I am definitely chasing podiums or a win at Dundrod this year.”
Photo by Stephen Davison
ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT BATTLES SET TO RAGE AT 2019 fonaCAB ULSTER GRAND PRIX
Last year’s Ultra Lightweight race winner at Dundrod, Christian Elkin, will return to the 2019 fonaCAB Ulster Grand Prix as one of the favourites in both 125cc/Moto3 races.
The 38 year old will ride the same Wylie Honda he has steered to victory in three of last four UGPs in Thursday’s DGH Recovery Services four lapper and again in Saturday’s five lap Plant Lubrication race. Elkin will also compete on the Dynocentre NI Centre ER6 Kawasaki in the Supertwins races and a Wylie ZXR6RR Kawasaki in the Supersport events.
“The bikes are all good and I definitely want to be chasing a podium in every race and a win if it is on.” the Englishman, who is now resident in Randalstown, Co Antrim said.
“It will be a hard task against the opposition that is out there and you need a bit of luck as well as good machinery to win around Dundrod.”
Elkin listed Derek McGee, who will ride the super fast ex Moto GP Faraldo Moto 3 machine, plus last year’s podium finisher Michal Doukopil and Gary Dunlop as some of the main contenders he will have to beat to get on the top step of the rostrum in the Ultra- Lightweight division.
“A lot will depend on the conditions and you need to have a few little tricks up your sleeve to finish in front against those boys around here.” the experienced rider smiled.
Gary Dunlop will be hoping to find a few tricks of his own as he chases his lifetime ambition of winning a race at the Ulster.
“I love Dundrod and getting a race win here would be a dream come true.” the 36 year old, who will ride the Joey’s Bar Moto3 machine, said.
“If I could do that I would probably quit and just put my feet up!”
Like Elkin, Dunlop feels his former teammate, Derek McGee, will pose the greatest threat.
“To be honest the only chance the rest of us have is if Derek isn’t here on that Faraldo machine.” Dunlop smiled.
“Elkie wont be far away either. Christian is a great rider who doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves.”
Although he was talking his rivals up, the Ballymoney man, whose best Dundrod finish is a 4th in 2017, admits he is up for this year’s race.
“I will give it a good go.” Dunlop said as he chases his first international success after National wins at Kells, Enniskillen and Skerries already this season.
“I was up for it last year and was running with Christian and Paul Robinson before the engine give up at the end of the first lap. If the weather is good I will definitely have a go.”
Fermanagh’s Melissa Kennedy made her road racing debut in the 125cc/Moto 3 race at the Ulster in 2013. The 28 year old will campaign a KNR backed NSF 250 Honda Moto 3 machine this year.
“A top five finish is my realistic aim.” the Florencecourt woman said.
“I just lost out on a podium last year when I was pipped on the line by Nigel Moore. Dundrod is a tough track and very fast and there will be a lot of very good riders and bikes out there.”
Photo by Stephen Davison
CENTRA WHITEMOUNTAIN TO SPONSOR SUPERSPORT RACE AT 2019 fonaCAB ULSTER GRAND PRIX
Local supermarket and filling station, Centra Whitemountain will continue their support of the 2019 fonaCAB Ulster Grand Prix as sponsors of the opening Supersport race on Saturday, August 10’s main race day.
“We are delighted to be supporting the event for the fourth year.” Store manager, Danielle Finlay said.
The Finlay family have a long involvement in motorcycle racing with Danielle’s father, Sam being Guy Martin’s first sponsor when he came to race in Ireland in 2003.
“I’ve been going to the Ulster for 15 years and can’t wait for the racing to begin each year.” Danielle added.
“We are a local business supporting our local race so call in and see us on your way to the paddock. As the closest store to Dundrod we have everything you need for a long day’s racing with hot food, an Off licence and much more.”
“Danielle and the team at Centra Wjitemountain have been strong supporters of the Ulster Grand Prix for many years and we are very grateful for their continued support as a race sponsor in 2019.” UGP Clerk of the Course, Noel Johnston said.
Centra is Northern Ireland’s leading convenience retail group, with bright, accessible stores throughout the country. Centra stores provide convenient shopping solutions, have all the items you need and are good value for money.
Centra has a reputation for quality, value and friendly service, and the fact that stores are independently owned and operated by local people means that shoppers get the best of both worlds – commitment to the traditional values of good fresh foods and excellent services.
Photos by Stephen Davison
MICHAEL DUNLOP SET FOR FONACAB ULSTER GRAND PRIX RETURN
Michael Dunlop has made his plans clear ahead of the 2019 FonaCAB Ulster Grand Prix. The Ballymoney rider is set to return to race the world famous Dundrod course after sitting out last year’s event.
Dunlop will race for Tyco BMW on the team’s S1000RR machine in the Superbike races, and he will also run his own MD Racing Honda CBR600RR and stock BMW for the Supersport and Superstock classes.
The six-time Ulster Grand Prix winner has been fighting through an injury throughout the 2019 roads season, and although he managed to secure a 19th TT victory this year, he has stated that he may have to continue to ride through the pain barrier until he can get an operation.
Whether or not that will prevent the 30 year old from winning at Dundrod this time around, there’s little doubt that any other rider on the grid will be prepared to give more in order to stand on the top step of he podium when racing commences in August.
This year’s Ulster Grand Prix bike week runs from the 5th - 10th August and you can purchase your bike week wristbands from the Ulster Grand Prix website by clicking the link below.
GARY DUNLOP AND CONOR CUMMINS SET TO COMMEMORATE LEGENDARY ULSTER GRAND PRIX RACE
The legendary 1999 Ulster Grand Prix Superbike contest between Joey Dunlop and David Jefferies is set to be commemorated at this year’s FonaCAB Ulster Grand Prix.
Gary Dunlop, son of the great Joey Dunlop, will ride his father’s iconic race winning Honda RC45 and Conor Cummins will pilot the V&M R1 Yamaha of David Jefferies in a special 20th anniversary tribute lap.
The 1999 race, regarded by many as one of the very best races in Ulster Grand Prix history, was won by Joey Dunlop who was seen as the underdog before the race as Jefferies was the rising star on the roads.
Dunlop took the fight to Jefferies and ran out the victor to take his 24th Ulster Grand Prix win in front of thousands of adoring fans, and further write another part of his legend into the record books.
The sight of Gary Dunlop and Conor Cummins on those special machines will no doubt bring back many memories and stir the emotions of the fans who attend this year’s event. A lap not to be missed and another reason to attend the world’s greatest road race.
FONACAB ANNOUNCED AS TITLE SPONSOR FOR ULSTER GRAND PRIX
FonaCAB has partnered with the Ulster Grand Prix and will be the title sponsor for this year’s event on the 5-10 August.
The company is a firm supporter of road racing and is now a chief sponsor of both the Ulster Grand Prix and the North West 200, as well as sponsoring some of road racing’s brightest stars.
Unveiling the news today was fonaCAB’S Managing Director, William McCausland, and he was joined by UGP Clerk of the Course, Noel Johnston and FonaCAB sponsored rider Lee Johnston.
“As a lifelong road racing fan and veteran of many visits to Bike Week over the years, I am delighted we will be the title sponsors of the 2019 fonaCAB Ulster Grand Prix.”
“Having sat at Wheeler’s Corner and Quarry Bends enjoying the racing over many years, I know first-hand of the quality of both the course and the competitors and of what’s involved in putting together such a prestigious event, one which we are proud to put our name to.”
“The fonaCAB brand is becoming synonymous with bike racing in Northern Ireland and our support of the Ulster Grand Prix follows our successful title sponsorship of the 2019 North West 200 and of the Tyco BMW team.”
Noel Johnston had this to say:
“We are delighted to have fonaCAB on board as title sponsors for Ulster Grand Prix Bike Week in 2019.” Clerk of the Course, Noel Johnston, said.
“It has provided a big boost just as we are laying our final plans for all the action to begin. William McCausland is a road racing fan and his enthusiasm for the sport is obvious and infectious. As an international road race meeting that attracts global attention, the Ulster will provide a major platform to showcase the fonaCAB brand.”
Photo by Steven Davison