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Finnegan aiming to put MV back on top

By Roy Harris

Published 16/08/2007

The iconic MV Agusta name is legendary within the world of motorcycle road racing having won no less than 37 world championships.

Legends such as Luigi Taveri, John Surtees, Mike Hailwood and Giacomo Agostini have ridden the red and silver liveried machines around the Dundrod circuit with the Italian manufacturer claiming over 20 victories between 1932 and 1970.

This year MV have returned to the road race scene with Irish rider Martin Finnegan who will be looking to give them their first victory at Dundrod since Agostini back in 1970. Finnegan competes in Saturday's superstock race.

In yesterday's opening practice session Finnegan put the MV in provisional third position for the race behind Kiwi Bruce Anstey and local ace Ryan Farquhar with one qualifying session still to be held.

Agostini will be a guest of the organising Dundrod Club at the Belfast Telegraph Ulster Grand Prix and will ride Finnegan's machine in a celebration lap during Saturday's race programme.

Meanwhile, during yesterday's first practice session 34 newcomers took to the track and it was English visitor Gary Johnson who emerged fastest of the newcomers lapping the circuit at over 119mph.

An interesting footnote to this superbike qualifying session was last year's four-times winner Guy Martin, who set the second fastest lap of the day at 126.332mph but was deemed a non-qualifier as he had only completed one lap inside the qualifying time instead of two.

The 130mph barrier was not broken in first qualifying due to intermittent rain showers but lap record holder Ian Hutchinson came closest with a speed of 127.509mph.

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