Belfast Telegraph

I'll have to be on my game for Dundrod glory: Elkin

 

Light work: Ultra Lightweight riders Melissa Kennedy, Gary
Dunlop and Christian Elkin with David and Gillian Hanna of DGH Recovery Services and UGP Clerk of the Course, Noel Johnston on the Ulster Grand Prix’s Dundrod circuit
Light work: Ultra Lightweight riders Melissa Kennedy, Gary Dunlop and Christian Elkin with David and Gillian Hanna of DGH Recovery Services and UGP Clerk of the Course, Noel Johnston on the Ulster Grand Prix’s Dundrod circuit

By Roy Harris

Last year's Ultra Lightweight Moto3 race winner at Dundrod, Christian Elkin, returns to the 2019 fonaCAB Ulster Grand Prix as one of the favourites in both of this year's Moto3/125GP races.

Elkin, originally from Macclesfield but now living just outside Randalstown, is a former double British 125cc champion in 2004 and 2005 and has won four times around the 7.4 mile Dundrod Circuit in Moto3.

The 38-year-old rides the Bob Wylie M3 Honda in the class, his own Dynocentre ER6 Kawasaki in Supertwins and the Wylie ZXR6RR Kawasaki in Supersport.

"The bikes are all good and I definitely want to be chasing a podium in every race and a win if it's on," said Elkin.

"It will be a hard task against the opposition that is out there and you need a bit of luck to go your way as well."

The main contenders Elkin believes he has to beat are Derek McGee, who rides an ultra-fast ex-Grand Prix Honda for the Italian Faraldo Racing Team, last year's podium finisher Michal Dokoupil and Gary Dunlop, a recent winner at Kells, Enniskillen and Skerries.

Elkin joked: "A lot will depend on the conditions and you need to have a few little tricks up your sleeve to finish in front of those boys around Dundrod."

Dunlop will hope to find a few tricks of his own as he chases a lifetime ambition of winning a race at the Ulster.

"I love Dundrod and to get a race win there would be a dream come true," said the 36-year-old.

He will ride the Joey's Bar MCC M3 machine and added: "I'll give it a good go, and if I could manage to pull off a win I would probably quit and just put my feet up!"

Dunlop also feels his former team-mate McGee will pose the greatest threat.

"To be honest, the only chance any of us have is if Derek isn't there on the Faraldo machine. Christian is also a great rider, who doesn't always get the recognition he deserves."

Although he was talking his rivals up, the Ballymoney man, whose best Dundrod finish is a fourth in 2017, admits he is up for this year's race.

"I will give it a good go," Dunlop said as he chases his first international success after National wins at Kells, Enniskillen and Skerries already this season.

"I was up for it last year and was running with Christian and Paul Robinson before the engine give up at the end of the first lap. If the weather is good I will definitely have a go."

Fermanagh's Melissa Kennedy made her road racing debut in the class at the Ulster in 2013 and the 28-year old will ride a KNR backed NSR 250 Honda.

"A top five finish is my realistic dream. Dundrod is a very fast, tough track, and there will be a lot of very good riders and machines out there," she said.

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