Belfast Telegraph

Dunlop eyes Ulster GP glory but admits it's a big test


By Roy Harris

Gary Dunlop has outlined his intentions ahead of the Charles Hurst Dundrod 150 and MCE Ulster Grand Prix, admitting it will be tougher this time as he bids to improve on his debut performance.

The 33-year-old, who made his road racing debut just last year, recently claimed his first podium, at the 125GP/Moto3 race at the Skerries 100, after leading the race for three laps before finishing in second place behind Derek McGee.

Speaking at the launch of the Charles Hurst Motorcycles Dundrod 150 partnership, the Ballymoney rider said: "My first Dundrod experience exceeded all my expectations.

"It was easier to learn than I'd expected, I already felt like I knew it well, but you never really learn a track until you're on it and using both sides of the road and travelling at speed but I was surprised how well I took to it, like a duck to water really.

"I didn't enjoy the first day because the weather wasn't so great and I was a wee bit nervous but whenever it came to the dry sessions it was by far the best place I've ridden a motorbike round."

Dunlop, whose specialism is the ultra lightweight/lightweight category, was fourth in both the Dundrod 150 and MCE Ulster Grand Prix races last year.

"I didn't expect to get anywhere near fourth, it was awesome, I couldn't speak for about 10 minutes whenever I got back into the paddock," said Dunlop, son of the legendary Joey.

"It's going to be tougher this year, just down to putting pressure on myself."

Clerk of the Course at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix Noel Johnston said: "The crowd in the Joey Dunlop grandstand gave him an amazing reception as he crossed the finish line in fourth place."

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