Road Racing News

Road Racing’s Great Races: 2019 Ulster Grand Prix – Supersport Race 1

Whilst Peter Hickman excelled, amazed, showed incredible form on route to seven successive race wins at last year’s Ulster Grand Prix, he didn’t have it all his own way in particular within the Supersport class.

Receiving in each 600 race stint strong, tenacious, gritty opposition from Ashcourt Racing’s Lee Johnston, Hickman and his YZF R6 Yamaha mounted counterpart provided the enthusiastic crowds at Dundrod with truly captivating Supersport battles.

The first of three Supersport thrillers taking place last August on a sun drenched Thursday evening, was an absolute all time Ulster GP classic.

My race report on the world class duel for honours between TROOPER Triumph’s Hickman and Monster Energy Supersport TT Race 1 winner Johnston, reads as follows:

As the evening sunshine glistened upon Dundrod, the action on track was even more sparkling as a selection of the world’s best road racers contended for opening Supersport race spoils.

After an opening lap which saw the first five racers covered by only 1.978 seconds, lap 2 saw early pace setter Lee Johnston, pole sitter Peter Hickman begin to take control.

Separated at the end of lap two by just 0.129 of a second, lap three would see Ashcourt Racing’s Johnston and factory Triumph mounted Hickman move further clear of the likes of Davey Todd, Dean Harrison, Jamie Coward and Conor Cummins.

Photo by Tommy Vennard

Trading back and forth the race lead, at the completion of lap three 0.247 covered Johnston and recently crowned Ulster GP lap record holder Hickman.

Laps four and five saw Johnston and Hickman continue to be separated by just a few tenths of a second, the question was who would find that something extra to scoop race Shoei Helmets Supersport victory?

The answer was Hickman, who found just enough pace when needed to make it eight Ulster GP victories.

Although ultimately finishing 0.357 behind Hickman, Monster Energy Supersport TT Race 1 winner Johnston has none the less achieved a unique feat of securing at least a second place finish or better in Supersport races, at International Roads events in 2019.

Wrapping up the rostrum finishers behind Hickman, Johnston was Silicone Engineering Racing’s Dean Harrison, who’s path to third was made all the more comfortable once Milenco by Padgetts Davey Todd retired out of contention on lap four, at Quarterlands.

Following Todd’s retirement this allowed PreZ Racing’s Jamie Coward, Conor Cummins, Paul Jordan to all move up a place and acquire eventual fourth, fifth, sixth place finishes.

Concluding the first ten finishers were Michael Sweeney, Honda Racing’s David Johnson, Optimark Road Racing’s Xavier Denis and reigning Junior Classic TT champion Dominic Herbertson.

Others to enjoy impressive race stints included respective 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th place finishers David ‘Action’ Jackson, Ray Casey, Tom Weeden, Cornwall’s Forest Dunn and International roads returnee Joe Loughlin.

Words by Stevie Rial

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