Looking towards the Plant Lubrication (NI), Belfast International Airport National Ultra Lightweight/Lightweight races, a diverse strong grid of 125’s, Moto 3’s, 400’s and a few 250’s are all set for action next week, at Dundrod.
Favourites for 125/Moto 3 honours include Joeys Bar MCC Racing’s Derek McGee.
Mullingar’s McGee who’s been in sterling form in recent months, wrapping up multiple race wins at Enniskillen, Walderstown and Faugheen, will only take part in Thursday’s 125/Moto 3 encounter, due to the five race ruling in relation to race day at the Ulster GP.
Photo by Tommy Vennard
Due to this, his Honda steed on Saturday’s race day will have a new pilot, in the form of none other than Joeys Bar MCC Racing Team Manager, Gary Dunlop.
Additional standout 125/Moto 3 entrants include renowned class specialist Christian Elkin, Paul Robinson, KTM stalwart Christopher Eder and the improving Melissa Kennedy.
Enjoying in recent years, a renaissance, the popular 400 class enjoys strong representation at this year’s Ulster GP.
Anticipated contenders for 400 honours include Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed, plus Lightweight 400 class runner up at Tandragee and Walderstown, Stephen Morrison.
Photo by Rod Neill
Once attracting entries of 50 plus at the international road races, nowadays your lucky to gain entries of ten or more 250’s taking in pure roads competition.
Unfortunately same applies to the Ulster GP; an extremely positive aspect to the class has been added though with rising star Joe Thompson making a return to 250 machinery, piloting the TZ 250 Yamaha, which has proved in recent years a quite formidable machine around Oliver’s Mount.
Most definitely in contention to taste the race winners champagne, don’t discount Logan Racing’s Neil Kernohan from mixing it against the highly rated Yorkshireman.
The only international roads meeting to still run races consisting of 400’s and two stroke machines, you have to applaud the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix organisers loyalty, to two classes which have an extremely rich road racing heritage.
All that’s left to say is start the countdown, till Ultra Lightweight/Lightweight competition begins on the fabled Dundrod course.
Words by Stevie Rial