Ulster Grand Prix: Stage set for super battle
It's the 130 mile per hour Ulster Grand Prix that looks like being the story as Ulster's most famous motorcycle road race faces lift off today over the Dundrod circuit near Belfast.
With all the top road racers in the world in action at the moment the Ulster can't help but be top of the tree and big names like John McGuinness, Ian Hutchinson and Bruce Anstey are expected to shine.
Already McGuinness, who is the key of the Isle of Man TT, has shown the form he is in by lapping at 131.717 when finishing second in the Dundrod 150 on Thursday night. This was the fastest any road circuit in the world had been lapped at and McGuinness was naturally delighted. "I am the fastest rider at the TT and now it's the same story at the Ulster," he said.
"I can't wait until Saturday's big races with the highlight, the Belfast Telegraph Superbike, which I intend to win for the first time."
Apart from McGuinness, there are some hot riders in action and it wouldn't be beyond the bounds of possibility that the lap speed of even 132 miles per hour will be achieved.
"I aim to be in among the top riders," said Aussie Cameron Donald.
New Zealander Bruce Anstey is confident after securing a treble at the North West 200 in May.
"I am going to be hard enough to beat once I get my act together," said Anstey.
Yorkshireman Ian Hutchinson achieved his top speed in last year's Superbike race.
This was 130.86 miles per hour but he has since shown he can go better.
There should be an Ulster winner on the podium for William Dunlop, son of Robert, is one of the favourites for the 250cc race.
Dunlop has already shown his class in practise and of course his father won an epic battle for the 125cc class when beating Ian Lougher on Thursday.
Today's race schedule: Race 1 - Lisburn City Council Super Stoke; Race 2 - Investment Romania Super Sport; Race 3 - Pacemaker Press 250cc; Race 4 - Belfast Telegraph Superbike; Race 5 - Rae Estate Super Sport and Race 6 - Ulster Grand Prix Supporters Club Superbike. Roads close at 9.30am.