The quiet country roads around the village of Dundrod will be transformed in the fastest road race in the world this weekend as the best road racers in the world take to the track to try and claim the mantel of world fastest road racer.
Length: 7.401 mi
Lap record: 3 minutes 18.704 seconds — 134.089 MPH (Ian Hutchinson, TAS Racing BMW S1000RR, 2016)
2016 was the year of Ian Hutchinson the Bingley Bullet took four wins on his way to the rider of the meeting award as well as taking the outright lap record, The wins came in the form of both Superbike races,Superstock and Supersport he took 2nd in the other Supersport race losing out to Bruce Anstey the veteran Kiwi maintaining his impressive run of scoring a podium in every Supersport race since 2001 as well as taking his 12th win around the Dundrod circuit. Dan Cooper took the supertwins victory ahead of Derek Shiels and James Cowton a remarkable turn around since it was 3 months prior that he was involved in a major accident with Ryan Farqhaur where he dislocated both his shoulders.
Unfortunately Ian Hutchinson will not be competing at this years event due to the injury he suffered at this years Isle of Man TT coming off a strong year in both the roads and on the short circuits he was sure to be the favourite at this years event, While it is disappointing not to have Hutchinson at this years event there will still be plenty of top talent to entertain the fans I will look at a few of them below.
- Michael Dunlop hasnt had a win at the Ulster in 4 years and he is out to set that right this year onboard the brand new Suzuki GSXR, Dunlop hasnt wasted much time getting to grips with the bike taking an impressive win in the senior TT race.
- Peter Hickman comes into this years event off a strong TT where he finished on the podium in every race he entered increasing his speed with many feeling he has joined Hutchinson and Dunlop as one of the elite men at the event. Hickman has also been strong on the circuits this year taking his first win of the year last weekend as well as sitting inside the top 6 showdown.
- Lee Johnston hasnt had the best of seasons to date splitting from the Jackson race team just before the TT as well as crashing heavily at the event and injuring himself quite severely luckily for him and the fans he has recovered and will be going all out to take a win this weekend to finish off his season well.
- Dan Kneen has had a successful season aboard BMW machinery this season scoring his best ever finish at the TT to date with a 3rd place in the Superstock event as well as setting his fastest ever lap time, He has been called up as a replacement to the TYCO BMW team as a replacement for the injured Hutchinson a just reward for the results he has shown this year.
- William Dunlop hasnt had the easiest of years being let down by a backer at the start of the year he was left without machinery luckily former Mar-train team owner Tim Martin stepped in to help out with bikes and sponsorship, Dunlop is always a man to beat on a Supersport bike and will again be one of the men to watch in this class.
- Bruce Anstey there isnt a lot left to say about the experienced Kiwi a legend of the sport he is a fan favourite and on his day still one of the fastest men at any race meeting, 2017 hasnt been the greatest in Anstey’s long career struggling at the North West as well as the TT he will be hoping to finish off the international road racing season in style and to continue his run of Supersport podiums at the event.
- Dean Harrison has had a great 2017 season dominating the Cock of the North event at Scarborough an event and circuit where he seems unbeatable he also took his first North West 200 podium at this years event taking a 3rd place in the thursday night Superstock race. He took a couple of 3rd places in the Superbike class at the TT as well as besting Michael Dunlop in the Superbike race at the Southern 100.
- Paul Jordan has been the breakout star of the local road racing scene this year progressing quickly at every event he attends with a well run team around him in the IMR racing squad he is a rider to watch not only this season but beyond.
- Adam McLean is another breakout star from the local racing scene most notably in the Supersport class where he is racing with more established riders such as William Dunlop and even beating them on occasion.
- Derek Shiels has had a great season on the Irish roads this season dominating most events he attends he and the John Burrows team are one of the most recognizable and well turned out teams on the grid he is looking to make the next step and start challenging at the international events.
Whats on and When:
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