Road Racing News

MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix – Michael Dunlop Tops Thrilling Superbike Qualifying Session

13 times TT winner Michael Dunlop topped the time sheets, after a thrilling superbike qualifying session, at the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix.

Leaving his best till last, he lapped at 131.783 mph, just a whisker off the 132 mph on the Hawk Racing S1000RR BMW, to finish fastest.

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Photo by Rod Neill

Peter Hickman for a long time was the pace setter in qualifying becoming the first rider during this years Ulster GP, to lap in excess of 131 mph.

He eventually went onto finish second quickest as he lapped at 131.063 mph on the JG Speedfit backed ZX10R Kawasaki.

Next up in third spot was Bruce Anstey (130.220 mph) with the exotic Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Motorcycles RC213V-S Honda.

Having clearly not enjoyed the previous qualifying and practice sessions due to the tricky conditions, Tyco BMW’s Ian Hutchinson enjoyed a much better qualifying session, finishing fourth fastest, following lap speed of 130.136 mph.

Dean Harrison (129.921 mph) was close to becoming the fifth rider to lap in excess of 130 mph, as Conor Cummins (129.335 mph) finished the only other rider to crack the 129 mph mark.

Cookstown BE Racing’s Derek Sheils lead the Suzuki challenge, Gary Johnson as new you can get to the East Coast Racing S1000RR BMW and William Dunlop all showed accomplished pace.

Additional riders to impress included Rob Barber (124.810 mph), Phil Crowe (124.297 mph), TT privateers champion Dan Hegarty (123.405 mph) David “Action” Jackson (122.979 mph) and fellow Dundrod newcomer Michael Booth (122.797 mph).

MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix – Superbike Qualifying Results:

1 Michael Dunlop 131.783
2 Peter Hickman 131.063
3 Bruce Anstey 130.220
4 Ian Hutchinson 130.136
5 Dean Harrison 129.921
6 Conor Cummins 129.335
7 Derek Sheils 128.352
8 Gary Johnson 127.873
9 William Dunlop 127.728
10 Dan Kneen 127.699
11 Steve Mercer 127.042
12 Jamie Coward 125.799
13 Derek McGee 125.326
14 Rob Barber 124.810
15 Brian McCormack 124.547
16 Phil Crowe 124.297
17 Dan Cooper 124.244
18 Dan Hegarty 123.405
19 David Jackson 122.979
20 Michael Booth 122.797

Words by Stevie Rial

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