Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre visits Ulster Grand Prix Dundrod circuit

By Jill Goligher

Bike mad Liverpool Football Club chief executive, Ian Ayre has arrived at Dundrod for the Ulster Grand Prix.

The Kop chief flew in to sample the Premier Division of motorcycle racing.

Along with race fans, he will treated to the sight of New Zealand star rider Bruce Anstey defending his title as the world’s fastest road racer on the world famous Honda RC213V-S after UGP organisers struck a deal with his Vavoline Racing by Padgett’s Motorcycles team.

Anfield supremo Ayre, a big bike racing fan, accepted a VIP invite to this year’s event after the top football man expressed an interest in attending as a spectator during race week.

Although a huge fan of the Isle of Man TT, MotoGP and World Superbikes, this will be Ayre’s first time at a road race. Taking a break from overseeing multi-million pound transfer deals, the 53-year-old will watch some of the top names in motorcycle racing battle it out around the Dundrod course. Away from football, he spends much of his free time riding his own Harley Davidson.

Before the visit Noel Johnston, UGP Clerk of the Course, said: “We are very pleased to hear that Ian Ayre is planning to visit Dundrod, home of the worlds fastest road race.

“We’ll do our best to make sure his visit is memorable, and like most people who visit the Ulster Grand Prix for the first time, hopefully he’ll spread the word and come back for more.  And if he thinks Steven Gerrard or Divock Origi are fast on the field, wait until he sees some of the world’s top road racers roaring down the Flying Kilo at 200mph!”

All eyes there will now be on  Anstey and the Honda RCV. Anstey rode the exotic Moto GP bike at the Islo of Man TT last month, but this will be the first time he competitively rides it fully fit, after suffering bruising from a crash during practice at the TT.

The Flying Kiwi will race the RCV in the Superbike races at both the Plant Lubrication (NI) Dundrod 150 on Thursday, August 11 and the main MCE UGP race day on Saturday 13th.

Anstey said: “I’m really pleased that we’re able to bring the RCV to Dundrod and that I’ll get another run out on it before the season ends. Everyone has been asking team boss Clive Padgett about whether it’s going to be there or not, there’s a lot of interest in it and now we can confirm it.

“I think the bike will go down really well at the Ulster, I’m looking forward to setting off down the Flying Kilo, it’s fantastic to ride and should handle the fast, flowing corners of the circuit with ease.

“I’m looking forward to riding the RCV at full fitness too. I got a bit knocked about and bruised with my off at the TT so this is my chance to get out there and do the bike justice.”

Noel Johnston added: “The RCV is probably the most famous bike in the world at the moment, one that Bruce has described recently as an absolute weapon, with superb power yet pretty nimble and compact.

“This is going to be sensational, a real treat for the spectators and it’s something I’m personally really excited about seeing. I’ve spoken at length with Clive Padgett about getting the bike to Dundrod, and it seems that Bruce and the team were just as keen as we were to make it happen.

“The world’s fastest road racer riding this stand-out bike is going to be another big draw for fans.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph