It’s anyone’s guess as to who will be tasting the winners champagne, in the Centra Whitemountain Service Station/Barron Transport Services Supersport races, at the 2017 MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix.
Arguably the toughest races to call at Dundrod next week, anyone of at least 10 riders, are capable of securing race wins.
One of the pre race favourites, has to be 12 times Ulster GP winner, Bruce Anstey. Although it’s been a difficult international roads campaign thus far in 2017 for the Flying Kiwi, he’s always on good form at Dundrod.
Winner of the opening Supersport encounter last year, he’s quietly confident of adding to his already stellar total of 34 international road race victories.
Joining him within the Padgetts Racing fold, aboard high spec CBR 600 RR Honda machinery, are Manxman Conor Cummins and “The General” Lee Johnston.
Consistent front runners, they cannot be discounted from jostling for wins, same applies to Peter Hickman, aboard the TROOPER backed 675 Daytona Triumph.
Photo by Jim Gibson
More known for his exploits on 1000cc machinery, Hicky it’s fair to say surprised himself back in June recording a tremendous podium finish, in the opening Monster Energy Supersport race of TT 2017.
An extremely complete racer, he’s another potential race winner as is rising star Adam McLean.
600 victor at Cookstown and Walderstown, Adam has caught the eye of many this year, with his ultra impressive displays on the MSS/Hotties ZX-6R Kawasaki.
Photo by Nick Wheeler
Fellow ZX-6R Kawasaki mounted rider, Silicone Engineering Racing’s Dean Harrison, has the undoubted capabilities to dominate the Supersport class at Dundrod.
Fastest in 600 qualifying at TT 2017, the Bradford racer, is considered amongst the marque favourites for race honours, as is of course Michael Dunlop.
Back on top form, this year within the middleweight class on his own teams YZF R6 Yamaha, all of his competitors know an on top form “Maverick” is extremely hard to beat.
You can apply the same notion, to brother William Dunlop. Touted by many as the de facto number 1 600 roads exponent, he came agonisingly close last year to a fourth Ulster GP Supersport success.
One year on, William is confident he has the package, in the form of the IC Racing backed YZF R6 Yamaha, to make him more than just one of the favourites, he’s firmly on a mission.
Photo by Rod Neill
Additional potential rostrum finishers include Radcliffe’s Racing’s Jamie Coward, new to the Site Sealants B&W Racing fold Derek McGee, Dan Cooper, Derek Sheils, McAdoo Racing’s James Cowton and Bob Wylie Racing’s Christian Elkin.
Added ones to watch include Dafabet Devitt Racing’s Ivan Lintin, Top Gun Racing’s Dan Hegarty, Daley Mathison, Michael Sweeney and newcomers such as Joe Thompson, Josh Daley, Craig Neve, Davey Todd and the Hodson brothers Rob & Jamie.
Probably the most open Ulster GP Supersport races for multiple years, excitement by the dozen is increasing in the build up to what’s set to be sizzling 600 action around Dundrod.
Words by Stevie Rial