TT Races lap record holder Michael Dunlop, will without a doubt start as one of the firm favourites for victories across all classes, at the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix.
He has been in my opinion to date without a doubt the stand out rider on the roads this year, having secured at least one race win at every pure road race meeting, in which he has competed at.
For many and me included the main highlights of his 2016 roads campaign was at TT 2016, when he produced series of magnificent performances in the RST Superbike and Pokerstars Senior races, along the way setting a quite incredible new lap record of 133.962 mph on the Hawk Racing S1000RR BMW.
Photo by Rod Neill
The first rider to lap the Mountain Course under 17 minutes, has a good record at the Ulster Grand Prix which includes victory in the second superbike race in 2012. We all know if everything is right with him, the bike, the set up, he’s as good as unbeatable.
Commenting on the upcoming action around Dundrod, Michael said:
“I’ve had a good year already with wins in the big bike races at the internationals so I’m happy enough.
If you look at my times at the TT I could have done a 134 mph, but Dundrod is the place where we really need to step it up now.
For sure the wind and the tyres will be big things, but we’re supposed to be in for a good turn in the weather and the track is looking really good so we should be alright.
The big bike is good. We’ve had a couple of problems with the other two but we should have them sorted easily enough.
We just need to work with what we’ve got here and try to make a good package for Saturday. I want to be right for Saturday’s race, that’s the big one.”
Looking ahead to the highly anticipated superpole qualifying session for the superbikes, Michael was giving nothing away, in his thoughts about it.
“We’re not worrying about Superpole just yet, we need to make the top 10 first and then we’ll take it from there.”
Ulster Grand Prix, Clerk of the Course, Noel Johnston, fully expects Michael to battling for superbike success around Dundrod, Noel said:
“Michael’s form this year has been nothing short of sensational and I think a lot of people are really looking forward to seeing what he brings to Dundrod.
He’s been the man to beat all season on the superbike and I’d be really surprised if he’s not in contention for a win on the big bike.”
Words by Stevie Rial