Saturday’s Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix was heavily punctuated with red flag stoppages and inclement weather problems for the organisers, but despite a reduced race programme, Tyco Suzuki brought home two podiums to compliment Guy Martin’s Superbike win during Thursday night’s races.
Martin took second place in the Ulster Grand Prix Superbike class, but there was disappointment for the Lincolnshire man who was in command throughout – having led six of the seven laps – only to catch slower riders in vital areas of the Dundrod circuit on the last lap.
In the Supersport class William Dunlop led five of the six laps and was on course for victory before having to retire his GSX-R600 on the final lap, just three miles from taking the chequered flag; a cruel piece of luck for the Ballymoney man who was nursing the early stages of a virus on race day.
The team will now look ahead to the upcoming Bank Holiday British Superbike Championship eighth round at Cadwell Park with Australian Josh Waters and American John Hopkins, as Taylor Mackenzie continues his quest in the British Supersport class.
Ulster Grand Prix Results:
Superbike: 1 Bruce Anstey [Honda]; 2 Guy Martin [Tyco Suzuki] +0.260sec; 3 Lee Johnston [Honda] +4.829sec; 4 Michael Dunlop [BMW] +7.421sec; 5 Peter Hickman [BMW] +45.290sec; 6 Daley Mathison [Suzuki] +47.162sec.
Supersport: 1 Bruce Anstey [Honda]; 2 Lee Johnston [Honda] +6.439sec; 3 Guy Martin [Tyco Suzuki] +18.756sec; 4 Ivan Lintin [Honda] +39.421sec; 5 James Cowton [Honda] +43.193sec; 6 Russ Mountford [Triumph] +46.015sec.
More, from a press release issued by Mar-Train Racing:
HARRISON ON THE MEND AS MAR-TRAIN LOOK TO CADWELL PARK
Saturday’s Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix didn’t quite finish the ‘big three’ international road races the way we would have liked at Mar-Train Racing, with Dean Harrison crashing out of the opening Supersport race in a three rider incident at the Ireland’s section of Dundrod.
Dean suffered a dislocated shoulder, which was put back into place trackside, before he was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. Dean has other injuries to his ribs and wrist [all right hand side] but is hoping to get out of hospital later this week.
We have had a great debut season with Dean, who was only beaten in the opening race of the day at Dundrod by a 1/1000th of a second in the Superstock encounter with his RC Express team.
This weekend we head back to the British Championship scene with Alastair Seeley competing at round 8 of the British Supersport series at Cadwell Park on bank holiday Monday. Alastair is only four points off the championship lead following his memorable second race victory at Oulton Park – his fifth of the season – just a fortnight ago.
We will keep everyone posted on Dean’s rehabilitation in the coming days and weeks and thanks to everyone for getting in touch after Saturday’s incident. We would also like to wish the other riders injured on Saturday in various incidents a speedy recovery and thanks the MCUI Medics for all their help and assitance.
More, from a press release issued by RC Express Racing:
Highs and lows for Harrison and RC Express at Ulster GP
Dean Harrison and the RC Express Racing by MSS Performance team experienced the highs and lows of motorcycle racing at the weekend’s Ulster Grand Prix when a superb podium finish in the Superstock race was followed in the next race by a heavy spill which has left him nursing a number of injuries including a broken wrist, dislocated shoulder and four broken ribs.
The festival started well for Dean in Thursday’s Dundrod 150 Superbike race when a superb start on the ZX-10R Kawasaki saw him complete the first lap in third place and for the entire five-lap race, he battled with Michael and William Dunlop and Lee Johnston for the final podium position. Although Michael Dunlop eventually took the third place, Dean successfully saw off the challenges of the other two riders and with a new personal best lap of the course, 133.217mph, he took an excellent fourth place.
Saturday’s Ulster Grand Prix race day got off to a brilliant start when Dean took second in the Superstock although he was denied victory by the unbelievably close margin of 0.001s, Manxman Dan Kneen getting the better of him. Having grabbed the lead on the opening lap, Dean, Kneen and Bruce Anstey were never more than half a second apart with positions changing all the time and on each and every lap.
The lead changed hands on no less than five occasions on the final lap but Kneen’s intermediate tyres were helping him be stronger on the final third of the circuit, from the hairpin to the start and finish. Indeed, Dean re-took the lead on the final lap at the hairpin only for Kneen to close in on the run to the line and they flashed across the start and finish line side by side with an anxious wait for the timekeeper’s verdict. It went to Kneen but the result was still Dean’s, and the team’s, best ever result at the Ulster GP.
However, from the high of a rostrum came the season’s low in the following Supersport race when Dean, riding the Mar-Train Racing Yamaha, crashed heavily at Ireland’s with, ironically, Kneen also going down. The race was subsequently red flagged with Dean taken to hospital in Belfast where his recovery will now start.
Ben Constable, Team Co-owner: “Dundrod’s proving to be a bit of a bogey circuit for us and there’s always something that seems to spoil the meeting for us. Dean’s crash and subsequent injuries have obviously put a downer on the results he achieved on the RC Express Racing machines but things had been going really well up until that point. His 133mph lap on Thursday showed what pace he had and what he was capable of whilst he couldn’t have done any more in the Superstock race. To lose out by such a small margin is a tough one to take but it was a great podium and we’re all just wishing him a speedy recovery now so he can get back out on a bike as soon as possible.”
More, from a press release issued by Ivan Lintin's publicist:
Second successive Ulster GP victory for Lintin
For the second successive year, Ivan Lintin enjoyed an excellent set of results at the Ulster Grand Prix and it resulted in the Bardney rider claiming his second International race win with another victory coming in Saturday’s Supertwins race.
The victory came in the trickiest of conditions on Saturday as rain, strong winds and cool temperatures made life very difficult for everyone in the Supertwins race, which proved to be the final race of the day. However, Ivan put in an imperious performance on the McKinstry Racing Kawasaki and with an eight second lead after two laps, he was able to control the race for the remaining three laps. His eventual winning margin was a commanding 14.3s whilst, unsurprisingly, he also set the fastest lap of the race.
Earlier in the day, Ivan had been out in force on the 1000cc and 600cc Taylor Lindsey Racing Honda’s and, after taking a solid ninth in the Superstock race, he had, arguably, one of his best ever International races, when he had a brilliant ride into fourth in the Supersport race, moving through the pack well after completing the opening lap in ninth place. He then switched back to the Superstock machine for the feature Superbike race where he again impressed with seventh place.
Meanwhile, the Dundrod 150 races on Thursday had got the event underway and Ivan was part of a terrific six-rider battle for second place in the 5-lap Supertwins race. He eventually finished fourth, missing out on a podium position by only 0.189s but he did have the consolation of setting a new class lap record at 118.735mph.
It was then straight out on the Taylor Linsdey Racing Superstock Honda for the Superbike race and Ivan went on to take a strong 13th place, improving his personal best lap around the Dundrod course to 128.538mph, which has made him the 25th fastest rider in the history of the event.
Ivan Lintin: “I’m really pleased with my results this week, especially the fourth place in the Supersport race as that came against, arguably, the best opposition. Seventh in the main Superbike race was pleasing too, coming through and overtaking people like Ian Hutchinson, and I think the results could have been better too had it not been for being a bit cautious on the opening lap. With conditions being so difficult though, I just wanted to exercise a bit of caution and give myself a lap to check the course out so once I’d done that I was able to get my head down.”
“The Supertwins races saw vastly different races on Thursday and Saturday with the former seeing me just miss out on the podium but claim the lap record, which obviously didn’t get beaten on Saturday. The race win came in pretty poor weather but I got my head down for the first two laps and then had a look behind to see where everyone was. Needless to say, I was pleased there was no-one behind me! All in all, it’s been another good week of racing with some good results and some good lap speeds so I’m over the moon with how it’s gone.”
Ivan now heads to Cadwell Park as he makes his debut in the British Championship, riding the Taylor Lindsey Racing Honda in the National Superstock 1000cc Championship race next weekend.
More, from a press release issued by Dan Kneen's publicist:
Kneen claims first International race win
Fresh from his recent success of clinching the Irish and Ulster Superbike road race championships, Manxman Dan Kneen claimed the biggest win of his career to date when he won a thrilling Superstock race at the Ulster Grand Prix last Saturday, his first ever International road race victory.
In what proved to be the closest ever race in the history of the event, Dan edged out Dean Harrison on the run in to the line by just 0.001s after a five lap race that also saw Kiwi Bruce Anstey in the mix. However, the fine line of road racing and ecstasy and despair came to light less than an hour later when Harrison crashed out of the Supersport race with his wayward machine collecting Dan and also Keith Amor. The resulting chaos left all three in hospital with numerous fractures, Dan sustaining a badly broken foot.
Up until then, Dan’s fine form of 2014 was continuing as he qualified on the front two rows for all of the Ulster GP races, the highlight being a 131mph lap on the Cookstown BE Racing Suzuki Superbike. Having used the Dundrod 150 Superbike race, where he finished tenth, for more practice time on the Marks Bloom Racing Suzuki Superstock mount, it was this race that started the action on Saturday.
Right from the start, there was nothing between the three riders and going into the final lap, the leading trio came along the Flying Kilo three abreast and the lead would change hands on no less than five occasions over the closing 7.4 miles. On the final run from the hairpin to the start and finish, Dan closed in on Harrison all the time and went round the outside of him as they flashed across the line with Anstey opting for the inside line. Everyone waited for the timing screens and it was Dan who got the verdict from Harrison and Anstey.
The Supersport race followed but Harrison crashed at Ireland’s on the opening lap and, with the pack tightly bunched, the ensuing melee saw firstly Amor and then Dan also crash with the Braddan rider having his foot pinned against the ground by his machine. Although only one bone was broken, it was badly crushed and he was due to see a specialist today (Monday) to determine what surgery will be required.
Speaking about the event, Dan commented, "Up until the Supersport race, I’d been having a great Ulster GP and the Superstock win was the icing on the cake. I was happy with the speeds in qualifying and had good grid positions but the Superstock race was unbelievably close and Dean was quicker in some places and I was quicker in others so neither of us could ever get a good run. It must have been great to watch as we were swapping positions all the time but it was tricky as some parts were dry, some damp and some soaking. There wasn’t a right tyre to use so you just had to ride to the conditions. My plan was to be ahead going into the hairpin and then make a break but I overshot which allowed Dean by although it all worked out in the end.”
“I tried to pass him in a couple of places before the end but in the end I just had to go for it on the final bend. It couldn’t have been any closer but I was over the moon to get my first International win. I went from a massive high to a major low less than an hour later though but I literally had nowhere to go. I was ahead of Dean and Keith at Leathemstown only for them to out-drag me along Deer’s Leap and when I saw the pair of them go down, I knew I was going to go down too and ploughed straight into all the bikes. I think the foot peg went through my boot causing the damage and although it’s only one bone, I seem to have made a good job of it. I’ve just got to wait now on the diagnosis and concentrate on getting fixed up and taking it all from there.”
The spill and resulting injury have brought an early end to Dan’s season, a year in which he’s contested the Irish National road races, rather than the British Championship, with devastating effect. The now 27-year old took no less than 6 Grand Final wins and comfortably won both the Irish and Ulster Superbike Road Race Championships.
“I didn’t know what to expect going into the season as all the circuits were new to me and with not much practice at any of the meetings, I had an awful lot of learning to do. I did plenty of laps in the van at all of the circuits and having John (Burrows) running the team, it meant there was always someone to chat to as he knew all of the meetings inside out. I really enjoyed all of them and they were all challenging and in different ways so it was very different to the British Championship meetings I’ve been used to in recent years.”
“The competition kept me on my toes all year with the likes of Derek Sheils and Derek McGee very quick whilst some meetings also saw the Dunlops and Guy Martin on the entry. I grabbed plenty of race wins along the way, getting the better of practically all of them so with two major Championship wins it couldn’t have worked out any better. It’s obviously a shame the crash happened when it did as we could have had even more top class results but that’s racing. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the year so a big thank you to everyone involved and for all their support.”
Dan still hopes to be fit for November’s Macau Grand Prix and has provisionally pencilled in the meeting for his return to racing.