Looking towards the Belfast International Airport/DGH Recovery Services, Plant Lubrication (NI)/Chimney Corner Hotel Ultra Lightweight/Lightweight races, a diverse strong grid of 125’s, Moto 3’s, 400’s and a few 250’s are Dundrod bound this week.
Favourites for 125/Moto 3 honours include Joeys Bar MCC Racing Team Manager Gary Dunlop.
Victorious within the 125/Moto 3 encounters at Kells, Enniskillen and Skerries, it’s been an excellent season for the son of the legendary Joey Dunlop.
Already crowned 125/Moto 3 Irish Road Race champion, the affable racer when looking ahead to this week’s Ultra Lightweight UGP action, stated:
“I love Dundrod and getting a race win here would be a dream come true. If I could do that I would probably quit and just put my feet up!
I will give it a good go. I was up for it last year and was running with Christian (Elkin) 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.”
Photo by Tommy Vennard
Joining Dunlop as strong contenders for Ultra Lightweight class spoils include Christian Elkin and Michal Dokoupil, who is set to pilot the Ariane Racing Factory Moto 3 mount.
Additional ones to watch include Melissa Kennedy, who’s 2019 roads resume includes four podium finishes, including second place finishes at Skerries and Faugheen.
Commenting about her latest upcoming Ulster GP tenure, she stated:
“A top five finish is my realistic aim. 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.”
Once attracting entries of 50 plus at the International Road Races, nowadays your lucky to gain entries of ten or more 250’s taking in pure roads competition.
Unfortunately same applies to the Ulster GP; Amongst those set to pilot on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 250 machinery, include consistent Lightweight class front runner of recent times, Logan Racing’s Neil Kernohan.
400 machinery wise, expect a host of respected national roads competitors, up coming International roads talents to battle it out for class honours.
At present though no entries have been officially confirmed in the public domain, in relation to UGP entrants piloting 400cc machines.
The only International roads meeting to still run races consisting of 400’s and two stroke machines, you have to applaud the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix organisers loyalty, to two classes which have an extremely rich road racing heritage.
Photo by Stephen Davison
All that’s left to say is start the countdown, till Ultra Lightweight/Lightweight competition begins on the fabled Dundrod course.
Words by Stevie Rial, quotes provided by Stephen Davison