Road Racing News

MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix: Gary Dunlop Looking Forward To Dundrod Return

All set for competition in the Dundrod 150/Ulster GP Ultra Lightweight races, Gary Dunlop is looking forward to returning to his favourite roads venue, Dundrod.

In recent times on the roads Gary has established himself as a high calibre exponent of 125 machinery, illustrated by an excellent second place finish at Skerries.

Looking back on his first foray into Ulster GP competition last year, Gary couldn’t speak high enough about the ultra fast roads of Dundrod.

He stated:

“My first Dundrod experience exceeded all my expectations. It was easier to learn than I’d expected, I already felt like I knew it well.

But you never really learn a track until you’re on it and using both sides of the road and travelling at speed but I was surprised how well I took to it, like a duck to water really.

I didn’t enjoy the first day because the weather wasn’t so great and I was a wee bit nervous but whenever it came to the dry sessions it was by far the best place I’ve ridden a motorbike round.

I didn’t expect to get anywhere near to fourth place, it was awesome, I couldn’t speak for about 10 minutes whenever I got back into the paddock.

I have to admit though I was a bit disappointed as I had two absolutely shocking starts that I can only put down to nerves, and I think if I could have got away with the front boys right at the start then maybe I wouldn’t have finished any higher, but I’d have been closer.”

Photo by Stephen Davison

Adding his thoughts, about the upcoming competition, at the world’s fastest road race, Gary speaking at Charles Hurst Motorcycles, who are the title sponsors of this years Dundrod 150 races, stated:

“The challenge this year is not to let nerves get the better of me, it’s going to be tougher this year just down to putting pressure on myself.

I need to get a few pounds off and get into a bit of shape if I’m going to do as well or better this time. I wasn’t actually going to bother going out again this year but the only thing that’s making me do a couple of other races is for the Ulster Grand Prix.

It’s hard to explain why I love it so much, there’s just a feeling about it. Every proper road racer knows it is the best track out of them all.”

Ulster GP, Clerk of the Course, Noel Johnston added:

“Gary made a great first impression at the Ulster in 2016, and I know he is really pushing himself to up his game this year.

I’d love to see him get a podium finish and I don’t think I’m the only one, the crowd in the Joey Dunlop grandstand gave him an amazing reception as he crossed the finish line in fourth place so I can only imagine the cheer if he places this time.

Riders like Gary, Paul Robinson, Christian Elkin and Nigel Moore are what the Dundrod 150 and the ultra lightweight/lightweight class is all about.

There’s still a fantastic appetite both to race and watch the smaller bikes and for me it will always be important to give that it’s place at the world’s fastest road race.”

Words by Stevie Rial

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