Road Racing News

Hickman, Harrison Ready For Ulster GP Superbike Battle Royals

International Road Racing’s equivalent of Hamilton/Vettel (F1), Nadal/Djokovic (Tennis), Messi/Ronaldo (Football), is Dundrod bound in August, as Smiths Racing’s Peter Hickman and Silicone Engineering Racing’s Dean Harrison aim to bolster their already majestic Ulster GP CV’s.

In recent years the duo commonly referred to as ‘Double H’, have claimed between them 17 International Road Race victories, with seven of those successes arising at Dundrod.

The world famous home of the Ulster Grand Prix, lost it’s title as the world’s fastest road race course in 2018 to the TT Mountain Course.

Commenting on the possibility of the Ulster GP, regaining it’s crown as the world’s fastest roads meeting, current world fastest road racer, recently crowned RST Superbike, Royal London 360 Superstock, Monster Energy Supersport TT race 2 champion Hickman, candidly stated:

“If the conditions are right and the track is in good shape, I think it can be the fastest again. Overall I think the Ulster is a faster track with only one slow corner.”

Photo by Stephen Davison

Going onto comment as to why Dundrod ranks among his favourite roads circuits, plus providing an in depth look into how his Superbike steed for his latest Ulster GP campaign is shaping up, he stated:

“Dundrod is a track that suits my style because I like to carry plenty of corner speed, and we are fairly certain we have sorted the water pressure problem we had on the Superbike at the TT.

We are still learning with the new bike but we aren’t sure whether or not we will have a full superbike engine for the Ulster, or will run the blueprinted engine that gives just 8 BHP (Break Horsepower) more than standard.”

Hugely respected rival Harrison, Winner of this month’s drama filled Dunlop Senior TT, like Hickman firmly believes that world record lap speeds are a possibility in August.

“I think it is a faster circuit and all we need is sunshine, and a good close race and the lap record could go. I would rather though have a podium than a lap record even if it is a world record.”

Two times Duke Road Race Rankings champion Harrison, went onto add:

“I approach every race in the same way. I try to get on the podium and if you are in the right place at the right time, the wins will take care of themselves.”

Amiable Clerk of The Course for the Ulster Grand Prix, Noel Johnston, added his thoughts on Harrison, Hickman venturing back to Dundrod.

“It is just six weeks until the start of Ulster Grand Prix Bike Week, and this year’s event promises to be one of the fastest and most exciting ever.

It is great to have Peter and Dean heading the entry list. They are the two riders who are doing most of the winning at the International Road Races at the minute, and they are coming to the Ulster on top form after their TT performances.

They went head to head at Dundrod last year and I think we will see lots more of that rivalry this time around.”

Going onto provide additional comment on how the entry for the 2019 Ulster GP, is shaping up, he stated:

“We will be announcing an impressive line-up of great riders, who will be trying to make sure Dean and Peter don’t have things all their own way this time around.

And that will make this year’s Ulster Grand Prix a mouth-watering prospect for every road race fan.”

Amongst a who’s who of International Road Racing anticipated to join Hickman, Harrison on the Ulster GP entry list include Honda Racing’s David Johnson, Superbike qualifying lap record holder Conor Cummins, TT Privateers champion Jamie Coward and IRRC Superbike series leader Davey Todd.

Reminder competitive action at the 2019 Ulster Grand Prix, gets underway on Wednesday the 7th of August, with the opening qualifying sessions for all classes taking centre stage.

Words by Stevie Rial

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