Ulster Grand Prix: Amor relishing glory at Dundrod
With practice due to get under way this afternoon at Dundrod for the McKinstry Skip Hire Ulster Grand Prix, Scotsman Keith Amor is all fired up and ready to go for what will be his only racing appearance in Ireland this year this Saturday.
Committed to racing in the World Endurance Championship for the TT Honda Legends Team Amor said: “I’ve missed racing at a lot of the road races this year at places like Skerries, Kells and especially the North West 200, but here we are at the Ulster and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Amor, from Falkirk, made his debut around the Dundrod Circuit in 2006 and won the Dundrod 150 Challenge race before going on to finish fifth in the UGP superstock race two days later.
Last year Keith won the Dundrod 150 superbike race before going on to win the second UGP supersport race.
The 38-year old said: “I think apart from those two wins I had four other podiums last year and none more than 0.4secs behind the race winner such was the closeness of the racing.
“It was a bit of a relief to eventually get the race win on the Saturday after losing out earlier in the day once through my own fault other times when slower riders played a part.
“The Ulster was certainly the highlight of my year and Dundrod is everything that I love about racing with its fast flowing bends and high speeds.
“It is just so fast it is impossible to get away from the rest and it becomes a game of cat and mouse trying to be in the right place at the right time — first past the chequered flag, that is.”
Apart from the TT this will be Amor’s first road race appearance of the year and he says: “The TT is not the same as racing here, as it’s more of a time trial.
“Here at Dundrod it is a mass start and last year was a bit special with all the slipstreaming battles when Ian Hutchinson, Bruce Anstey and myself had some real close battles.
“It will be a hard act to follow this year, but again there are up to ten guys on good bikes capable of winning. The only problem is the weather.
“If it rains there are those who will push and others who won’t. I’m not sure what bracket I fit into yet, we’ll see how things go tomorrow.”
Amor, the third-fastest rider ever around the Dundrod Circuit with a speed of 133.435mph set last year riding a BMW, will ride the TT Legends Honda Fireblade in the superbike races and his own KBMG Honda’s in superstock and supersport races this year the intention being to win races.
“That’s why we are here, to win,” he said. “It’s no good finishing 10th, however the competition is red hot and it will not be easy to get to that top step of the podium.”
Roads close for this afternoon’s Dundrod 150 and UGP practice between 1.30pm and 9.30pm, continuing on Thursday with roads closed between 10.30am and 8.30pm with the Topaz Dundrod 150 race programme set to commence at 2pm.