Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course, MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix
We had the official launch yesterday for the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix and a great line up of riders made the effort to share the moment.
With just a week to go until entries close things are pretty frantic at the minute as you would expect, there are always a few every year leave it until deadline day then they are on the phone panicking about getting their entry in.
For the first time ever this year we will run a Superpole for the superbike class, which will take place after practice on the Thursday afternoon of Bike Week. The fastest 12 in qualifying will go head to head in Superpole, setting off 10 seconds apart for one warm up lap and straight into two flying laps with a clear road ahead. Thanks to sector timing around the course we will be able to keep everyone updated through our PA and radio.
Great to see Skerries getting over safely and William Dunlop making it to the top step of the podium in supersport, just the result he needs to build his strength and confidence after his off at the TT and I reckon he wont be far away in this class at Dundrod.
In 2002 whenever we took over the running of this great race, I said that we never use the number 3 ever again in memory of the greatest rider ever to race the Dundrod circuit and we haven’t. I don’t know if I’m going soft but I have decided to let Gary use it this year as he makes his debut on a 125 in the ultralightweight class, I think it will be rather nostalgic to see the number 3 heading down the Kilo in the race.
Gary had a brief short circuit career before he retired but it is good to see him giving the roads a try, he is a very sensible lad and has absolutely no pressure on himself which is the best way to approach it and we look forward to having him there.