Belfast Telegraph

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Gary Dunlop inspired by race named in honour of legendary dad Joey


By Roy Harris

The motorcycle action is centred on road racing and short circuits in Germany and England this weekend with a number of local competitors making their way to Frohburg, Scarborough and Oulton Park.

Fresh from his first road race victory at the East Coast meeting at Killalane, Gary Dunlop heads to eastern Germany to take part in the 55th Frohburg International road races, a round of the European International Road Race Championship which includes a race named after his father - the Joey Dunlop Open.

"I cannot wait to get to Frohburg, pre-race excitement is right up there with the Ulster Grand Prix," said Gary.

"I will be the fifth Dunlop to race at this particular meeting following in the wheel-tracks of my dad, uncle Robert and cousins Michael and William. I have been wanting to do this race for a long time."

William is also due to take in the German meeting, as is Manxman Dan Kneen, who had a tremendous UGP riding for the Tyco BMW team but this weekend rides for the outfit alongside Danny Webb.

The Scarborough Gold Cup takes place tomorrow and Sunday around the tight and undulating Olivers Mount park-circuit in the North Yorkshire seaside town where Dean Harrison and Michael Dunlop are the star attractions.

Harrison is the fastest rider in the world at present after his Ulster Grand Prix exploits while Dunlop is the Isle of Man TT lap record holder.

Dunlop won the Gold Cup in 2013 while Harrison is seeking a hat-trick having won the prestigious race in 2015 and '16.

Other riders expected to perform well at Scarborough include Davy Morgan, Derek Sheils, Paul Gartland, Ivan Lintin, James Cowton and Adam McLean.

Oulton Park is the venue for the latest round of the Thundersport GP series tomorrow and leading the local challenge is Aghadowey 19-year-old Eunan McGlinchey, who has been taking the Irish short circuit scene by storm this season and just last weekend at Bishopscourt finished 11th, second, second and third in the four David Wood Memorial Supersport races in only his second full season of tarmac racing having been a schoolboy moto-crosser in his younger days.

In the Supertwin class at Thundersport, McGlinchey went across to an earlier round at Cadwell Park in May and came away with a win and two third positions.

Also competing at Oulton will be Donegal brothers Rhys and Caolan Irwin, while the Scott Motorcycles, Coleraine Aprilia team will have Alex Taylor in the Aprilia RRV450GP races. Taylor has one hand on the championship with Rhys Irwin in a comfortable second position while Caolan lies in eighth position in the Sportsman Elite 600cc class.

The MotoGP scene switches to Motorland Aragon this weekend and, just 22 days after sustaining a broken leg while training on an Enduro bike, nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi has been declared fit to compete after a mandatory medical examination at the circuit yesterday.

Rossi will be out on his Movistar Yamaha in first practice today.

In what is turning out to be the closest MotoGP Championship for years, Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso are tied on 199 points each with Maverick Vinales a further 16 points adrift in third.

Rossi, on 157, and Dani Pedrosa, 150, are also well placed if any of the front runners should slip up this weekend before three fly-away races in Japan, Australia and Malaysia before returning for the final round at Valencia in November.

Belfast Telegraph

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