Arguably the Superstock machine to beat in recent years at Dundrod, has been BMW’s mighty S1000RR; will this prove the case again, next week?
As in 2016, 2017, 2018, the potent machine enjoys strong representation, with many of the world’s best International road racers, confident it can take them to class spoils.
Photo by Rod Neill
Smiths Racing’s Peter Hickman, touted by many high profile figures within the roads fraternity, as the favourite for Superstock UGP victories, has been in great form this year within the stock class category.
Dominant within the Royal London 360 Superstock success of TT 2019, he’s gelled quickly with BMW’s latest incarnation of the fabled S1000RR steed.
Joining Hicky, in piloting BMW Motorrad machinery next week include IRRC Superbike series leader Davey Todd, Ashcourt Racing’s Lee Johnston, Brian McCormack, Market Rasen’s Phil Crowe and Skerries Michael Sweeney.
Sweeney, currently second in the race to become 2019 Duke Road Race Rankings champion, recently stated when looking ahead to competition at Dundrod:
“It has been a good season so far on the Irish roads and I surprised myself by beating some of the regulars at the recent Southern 100.
I hope to be able to battle for a podium finish in the Twins race at the Ulster and a top six finish in the 600cc races. My fastest Dundrod lap is 129.99 mph so I definitely want to break the 130 mph barrier too!”
Others entered on BMW’s include David ‘Action’ Jackson, potentially PRL Racing’s Sam West plus Dundrod debutants Kamil Holan and Richard Charlton.
Photo by Tommy Vennard
Kawasaki’s challenge is led by Dunlop Senior TT champion, reigning UGP Superstock victor Dean Harrison.
At home with the Silicone Engineering Racing ZX-10RR Kawasaki, the only question mark about the Bradford based rider’s chances of securing Superstock honours, is whether the Kawasaki will have the core top end speed compared to the ultra fast BMW’s.
One things for sure though, Dean has the undoubted proven pace, ability and undoubted talent to emerge victorious.
Added riders going green within the class formerly known as Production 1000, include 2018 Irish Road Race Superbike champion Derek McGee, Spain’s Raul Torras Martinez, America’s Patricia Fernandez, Dafabet Devitt Racing’s Paul Jordan, Wigan’s Josh Daley, Barry Furber and Davies Motorsport’s Dominic Herbertson.
Suzuki also enjoys strong representation courtesy of the BE Racing In Conjunction with Richardson Kelly Racing duo of the in form Derek Sheils and 2016 Senior Manx GP winner Tom Weeden.
Photo by Tommy Vennard
Honda’s CBR 1000RR Fireblade SP2, whilst vastly improved, is still considered by many not of the same ilk as Kawasaki’s ZX-10RR and BMW’s S1000RR.
Discount at your peril though Honda Racing’s David Johnson and Milenco by Padgetts Conor Cummins, from banking multiple podium finishes.
Yamaha’s small class presence includes TT Privateers Champion, PreZ Racing’s Jamie Coward, who is another dark horse for rostrum placing’s.
As with every class at the 2019 FonaCAB Ulster Grand Prix, tight, close fought, world class action is a guarantee, in the Superstock class.
It’s an extremely important race for the manufacturers, with each major marque determined to scoop the title of having the foremost production machine, at Dundrod.
Words by Stevie Rial