Dundrod: Guy Martin wows but race marred as French rider is hospitalised
Guy Martin pulled off a sensational Dundrod 150 race victory on a day marred by a number of red flags and a high speed crash at Rock Bend during the opening lap of the Lightweight race that saw French rider Pierre Favre rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital.
He was said to be in a criticial condition in hospital following a serious incident during the Ultra Lightweight/Lightweight event, which led to an hour-long delay in proceedings.
The stoppage didn't affect Martin as he lead for the first three laps of the main race, with Kiwi Bruce Anstey right in his slip stream as the duo pulled clear of the chasing pack.
Anstey sneaked ahead on lap four, but Martin got his nose in front on the climb from Leathemstown towards Deers Leap and with the fastest lap of the race at 133.313mph held on to win this particular race for the fourth time, by 0.2 seconds.
Two seconds back in third was Michael Dunlop, whose poor start arguably spoilt his chances, with Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston fourth and fifth, as William Dunlop dropped to sixth.
Martin said: "Bruce's bike was faster down the Flying Kilo, but mine had more grunt up the hill. I'd rather be on my Tyco Suzuki."
Such was the pace of the race that the first six finishers all had a race average of over 131mph.
Johnston may have led the Supertwin race from start to finish, but all the action was in a fierce scrap for second position that saw six riders swap position constantly throughout five hectic laps, with a new lap record of 118.734mph going to fourth place finisher Ivan Lintin on the final lap.
Second place, two seconds behind Johnston, was Conor Behan, who sped through from 10th on lap one picking off his rivals lap by lap. Keith Amor was third, Lintin fourth with Glenn Irwin, second going onto the final lap ending up in fifth.
Johnston said: "Every time I looked around there was a different set of leathers in second place and I was laughing my head off."
Circuit debutant Peter Hickman raced to a comfortable win in the four-lap Challenge race with a new class lap record and a 23 seconds margin over Alistair Kirk.
Newcomer James Cowton was a double winner, taking victory in the opening Dundrod National race and then the Lightweight.
The opening race of the Dundrod 150 had been red flagged on lap one and restarted over four laps after Mark Linton crashed out uninjured.
On the restart Cowton established himself in the lead and at the end of lap one was almost four seconds clear of Dundrod resident Robert Kennedy, taking part in his first ever road race.
With the fastest lap of the race of 121.638mph on his second lap Cowton was now seven seconds clear of Kennedy and Colin Stephenson.
Extending his lead on lap three Cowton won his first ever Dundrod race 13 seconds clear of a Kennedy.
Win number two came for Cowton in the restarted Lightweight event, but he came under pressure from Neil Kernohan, who led at the end of lap two.
On the final circuit Cowton put in the fastest lap of the race at 112.179mph to pass Kernohan and take the chequered flag 1.2secs clear of the Ballymena rider.
In the concurrently ran Ultra Lightweight race Christian Elkin led from start to finish on his Moto3 Wylie Honda.