BMW power rocks the Ulster GP thanks to Hutchinson and Dunlop
Ian ‘Hutchy’ Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop continued their breath-taking season at the Ulster Grand Prix, the pair battling for victory in all three of the big bike races. Despite delays and cancellations earlier in the weekend, the world’s fastest road race didn’t disappoint when the flag dropped. It proved to be a monumental weekend for Hutchy, ‘The Bingley Bullet’ taking four wins in a day and setting a new outright lap record around the Ulster GP circuit. His 134.089mph lap in the second Superbike race was one for the record books, finally besting the 2010 record set by Bruce Antsey. Michael Dunlop had looked a favourite as the Superstock 1000 race began, lining his MD Racing BMW up in pole position with Hutchinson a distant 14th. The Tyco BMW man shot forward and was battling Dunlop for the lead within only a handful of laps. Others such as Hickman and Kneen posed a brief challenge but it would be an all BMW battle for victory. Hutchy and Dunlop traded places until the very end, Hutchinson managing to just ease out a small advantage at the close of the final lap. Under 0.3s split the pair as they crossed the line after six laps of action.
Their rivalry carried over to the first Superbike race of the weekend, Bruce Antsey joining them in a three-way battle for victory. Dunlop faded towards the end of the race as backmarkers came into play, taking a well-earned third aboard his Hawk Racing BMW. Even with the MotoGP inspired Honda RC213V-s at his command, Bruce Antsey was unable to get the better of Hutchinson and his Tyco BMW S 1000RR around the Ulster track. As with Dunlop, backmarkers played their part but proved not to be an issue for Hutchinson who cruised to victory.
The scene was then set for a thrilling second Superbike race, Hutchinson and Dunlop both eager to finish the event on top. As in the previous race, Hutchinson and Dunlop were joined by New Zealand’s Bruce Antsey. The Bingley Bullet had an advantage early, but a mistake allowed both Dunlop and Anstey to slide through and saw the three together again. By lap four it was clear no one else had the pace to match the leading trio and the tension continued to build towards an incredible last lap.
A 134.089mph lap secured Hutchinson his third big-bike victory of the weekend and added yet another feather to his hat as he set a new lap record around the 7.4 mile course. With a win in the Supersport race, Hutchinson becomes just the third rider in history to take four wins in a day at the Ulster GP. With three wins and three further podiums, both Hutchinson and Dunlop proved themselves and the BMW S 1000RR were the package to beat in Ulster, as they had done in so many previous events.
Alongside Dunlop and Hutchinson there were a number of other BMWs throughout the field. Derek McGee, riding for Team NW Racing, did exceedingly well to score tenth place in the first Superbike race. His result was made more impressive by the fact he was on a Superstock spec-BMW S 1000 RR, tenth seeing him finish as the first Superstock bike.