Belfast Telegraph

Michael fired up for Ulster

By Jim Gracey

Four-time winner at last week's Isle of Man TT Michael Dunlop is headed for the Ulster Grand Prix with the Honda TT Legends Fireblade that he rode to victory in the Superbike TT last week.

Originally contracted to race the special Honda at just the Vauxhall North West 200 and TT, the Ballymoney man will give his home fans a special treat when he brings the factory prepared bike to the fast flowing sweeps of the 7.4 mile Dundrod circuit on Race Day, Saturday, August 17.

"I'm looking forward to racing at the Ulster on the Honda TT Legends superbike," 24-year-old Dunlop confirmed.

"We've done a lot of work on the bike during the North West and TT and we're in a good position now.

"It rode lovely at the TT and we obviously brought home a win there so it would be good to do the same at the Ulster."

Honda team boss Neil Tuxworth explained that his whole squad, including Senior TT winner John McGuinness, cannot be at the Ulster because it clashes with an Endurance World Championship round, the Oschersleben 8-Hour race in Germany, but said he was happy to see Michael race in the team's colours at Dundrod.

"We know that Michael will do a great job in representing the TT Legends.

"He's had success at the Ulster GP in the past with six wins under his belt, so we wish him the best of luck and we'll be cheering him on from Germany," said Neil.

The Ballymoney ace etched his name into the TT history books when he won the Superbike race on a Honda on the 30th anniversary of his uncle Joey's first win on the Island for the Japanese factory. Joey went on to win the Formula One race at the Ulster in 1983.

"Michael was sensational at the TT and it is great news for race fans that he will be at Dundrod on the Legends superbike," said Ulster Grand Prix Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston.

"This will give every Irish road race fan a chance to see Michael aboard the machine he rode to his first big bike TT win."

Michael dominated at Dundrod last August, taking a double in the Superstock and Superbike races.

He will be chasing down Bruce Anstey's 2010 133.977mph lap record that established the Ulster as the world's fastest road race and will start as one of the favourites to take a win in one of the three Superbike races held on Thursday and Saturday as part of the Race Week festival from August 12-17.

* MARC Marquez is ready to put his Mugello travails behind him on home soil at this weekend's Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona.

The 20-year-old rookie has made a superb start to his maiden season in the MotoGP World Championship, but slipped to third in the standings after suffering his first major setback in Italy when he fell in every session at Mugello.

Belfast Telegraph


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