For the first time during the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix, dry cold conditions all round Dundrod, greeted competitors for the opening race of the day, the superstock encounter.
Early pace setter Peter Hickman, encountered problems on lap two, forcing him and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki to retire.
From lap three onwards the battle out front carried a familiar theme, Michael Dunlop vs Ian Hutchinson.
The two giants of pure road racing, battled it out, with not much between them on their S1000RR BMW mounts.
By the last lap it was Michael Dunlop leading, but soon it was Ian Hutchinson back in the lead, then Dunlop into the lead, then Hutchinson into the lead!
At the end of the six lap race, it was Tyco BMW’s Ian Hutchinson who secured a hard fought superstock victory, by just 0.261 of a second.
Photo by Rod Neill
Michael Dunlop had to settle for second place on his own teams S1000RR BMW, whilst Mar Train Racing’s Dan Kneen completed the podium finishers.
Dean Harrison, Silicone Engineering Racing ZX10R Kawasaki finished a more than creditable fourth, Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Motorcycles Conor Cummins propelled the older spec CBR 1000 Honda Fireblade to fifth place.
Whilst Gary Johnson on the East Coast Racing S1000RR BMW, wrapped up the top six finishers.
Derek Sheils seventh continues to impress around Dundrod, as does Devitt RC Express Racing duo Steve Mercer and Jamie Coward, eighth and ninth place finishers respectively.
Completing the top ten was Ulster GP lap record holder, Bruce Anstey.
Additional stand out performances included Dundrod newcomer Dan Hegarty finishing an excellent 12th, Ryan Kneen 13th, Rob Barber 15th, David “Action” Jackson 16th and Alistair Kirk in 20th place.
MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix – Superstock Race Results:
1 Ian Hutchinson
2 Michael Dunlop
3 Dan Kneen
4 Dean Harrison
5 Conor Cummins
6 Gary Johnson
7 Derek Sheils
8 Steve Mercer
9 Jamie Coward
10 Bruce Anstey
11 Dan Cooper
12 Dan Hegarty
13 Ryan Kneen
14 Derek McGee
15 Rob Barber
16 David Jackson
17 Sam West
18 Michael Booth
19 Phil Crowe
20 Alistair Kirk
Words by Stevie Rial