The SS Nomadic, Belfast was an interesting venue for the launch of the 2014 Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix yesterday where local riders William and Michael Dunlop, Jamie Hamilton and Stephen Thompson joined visitors Dan Kneen, Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison to discuss what to expect come August 16.
Clerk of the course, Noel Johnston, said: “Man of the moment Michael Dunlop will be at the Ulster hoping for more wins on the back of his successful TT, where he won four races.
“Last year’s treble winner Guy Martin will be back on his Tyco Suzuki alongside team-mate William Dunlop, Gary Johnson, Lee Johnston and Bruce Anstey, so the action is set to be fast and furious.
“The depth of talent across all our classes is stronger than ever. Our sincere thanks go out to all our sponsors without whom it would be impossible to put on Bike Week, culminating with the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix.”
The current lap record stands with Valvoline Padgetts Honda star Anstey, 10 times a winner at Dundrod, with an incredible lap of 133.977mph set on his way to victory in the second Superbike race in 2010.
Michael Dunlop, with seven Dundrod wins under his belt, said yesterday: “I’m on my way to Germany to talk to BMW about building me an engine for the Ulster.
“I have been bending their ear a bit and it would be another challenge for them. The TT bike was a fantastic piece of kit and I’m sure at Dundrod we could show what the bike is capable of around what is probably the best circuit in the world.”
William Dunlop, looking to get back as quickly as possible following his accident at Graham Memorial, said: “I have been hounding Philip (Tyco Suzuki Team boss Philip Neill) to get out at Skerries this weekend and Southern 100 next week.
“I did damage to the Superbike at the TT, so we’ll see what happens. Dundrod suits and a Superbike win is something I haven’t got yet. I would like to rectify that.”