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Michael Dunlop in mood to boost Dundrod tally

Dunlop and new bike in fine tune for Grand Prix

By Jim Gracey

Published 31/07/2015

Revved up: Michael Dunlop is confident he can end his season on a high at next week's Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix. He is pictured with Cllr Thomas Beckett, Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council and Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course
Revved up: Michael Dunlop is confident he can end his season on a high at next week's Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix. He is pictured with Cllr Thomas Beckett, Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council and Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course

Michael Dunlop is confident he can end his season on a high and add to his tally of six wins at Dundrod circuit, as he looks forward to next week's Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix.

The 26-year-old, who sensationally switched from Shaun Muir’s factory Yamaha team back to Stuart Hicken’s BMW outfit just days before racing started at the Isle of Man TT in June, has endured a below par season in comparison to his dominant 2013 and 2014 performances.

However the Ballymoney racer seems to have found his way back to form in recent weeks, with podiums at the Southern 100 and a win in the Race of Legends at Armoy, and looks set to be in the mix once again at Dundrod.

Michael said: “We had a good run at Armoy and hopefully we can carry that through to Dundrod. I’ve been using the time between Armoy and the Ulster to get some extra rest which will do me good.

“We’ll be ready, we just have to push on really and try to get a few wins. The Superbike is a brand new motorbike so I’ll have to get the head down and put some miles on it, but we’ll get it dialled in.

“We should go well in all of our classes and it’s a good circuit to ride. It’s a big fast track with plenty of 5th and 6th gear corners so we’re looking forward to getting out next week.”

Dunlop’s determination is good news for Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course at the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix, who has watched two generations of Dunlops battle it out at Dundrod.

Noel said: “Michael is getting back to full fitness and top form, so it’s almost impossible to rule him out at Dundrod. He’s a proven winner around the circuit and when it’s his day there’s nobody faster.

“The fans love to see him at the front, he has such an aggressive style and it’s spectacular to watch. We can’t wait to have him out on track and on the pace, doing battle with Ian Hutchinson, Guy Martin and Bruce Anstey, to name but a few. We’re in for some great racing.”

Meanwhile, the UGP has announced a new partnership with app developers FanZone to launch a brand new mobile app in time for Bike Week, starting on Monday and running through to next Saturday’s race day.

The app, which is free to download, includes access to the latest news and photos on the go, online support for any queries they have during Bike Week and even offers fans the unique opportunity to share lifts and travel arrangements with others.

Through the ‘lift-share’ system, fans can see lists of other people who are attending the event and have space available in their cars, or they can also offer a free space in their vehicle to others.

It’s easy for fans to get involved. Simply download the app and sign in via email or Facebook Connect to get access to all of the new features.

NW200 dates announced

Supporters can begin making their plans for next year’s North West 200 with Race Day now set for Saturday, May 14.

Race Week events will begin the previous Sunday, May 8 with first practice on Tuesday night, May 10 followed by further daytime practice and evening racing on Thursday, May 12.

The main race day will be on Saturday, May 14.

Belfast Telegraph

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