Dunlop keen to fly out of the traps at Southern 100
North Antrim race ace Michael Dunlop will look to get the Southern 100 off to a flying start on the Isle of Man this evening.
The first three races of this year's event - kicking off with the Corlett's 600/1000cc 'A' race - commence after further practice tonight.
The opener will be followed by the 'B' race and the Station Garage 125/400/450cc event, which will see an electric bike in competition with Daley Mathison at the controls.
In the absence of Guy Martin and Honda from the meeting, the opening race should see 15-time TT winner Dunlop locking horns with Dean Harrison, who is fresh and coming off the back of seven wins from seven starts at Scarborough.
He is also the current Billown lap record holder at 114.601mph, but the likes of William Dunlop, Ivan Lintin, Jamie Coward, James Cowton on the McAdoo Kawasakis, Derek McGee and Dan Kneen will look to get in and among the action.
Local racers Adam McLean, Paul Robinson, McGee, Gary Dunlop, Darryl Tweed and Seamus Elliott are potential front runners in the 125/400cc race.
In fact, Tweed, Paul Gartland, Elliott and Robinson were inside the top six in first 125/400cc qualifying yesterday evening, while in the Supersport class Cowton set the early pace 0.101seconds faster than Coward, with Michael Dunlop a further second back in third.
Meanwhile, following the success of the Dromara Destroyers ride out last year, the organisers of the MCE Ulster Grand Prix have announced that three motorcycle convoys will take place during Bike Week.
They will start in different locations, but all end with a lap of the world famous Dundrod Circuit on Tuesday, August 8.
Brian Reid, Ray McCullough, Ian McGregor and Trevor Steele will again ride from the Village Square in Dromara and have asked anyone who wishes to accompany them to be there for 7pm (leaving at 7.30pm).
The second convoy will leave from the Balmoral Hotel, Belfast at 6.30pm, stopping at the Devenish Complex for tea and coffee at 7pm before heading to Dundrod.
The third ride out, for scooters and Vespas, will go from Scooter Specialists NI on Great Victoria Street, Belfast and also meet at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.
All participants are welcome in the Grand Prix Marquee afterwards for a live Q&A session with the Dromara Destroyers from 8.45pm.
To register, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org stating what ride out you plan to take part in.
Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston said: "We were blown away by the number of people who joined the Dromara Destroyers convoy last year and it was an obvious decision to ask these legends to lead another ride out this year due to demand.
"It will also widen the scope a little by giving people options to travel from Belfast in separate convoys before arriving at the MCE UGP paddock."