Michael Dunlop ignored the effects of two slipped discs in his back to chalk up a memorable double win on Saturday in the 90th Anniversary Ulster Grand Prix on the famed Dundrod circuit, near Belfast.
Dunlop opened the day with a confident win in the six-lap Superstock race riding the Ard Na Mara/McAdoo Kawasaki, to cross the line 4.037s clear of nearest rival Ian Lougher on another Kawasaki. Tyco TAS Suzuki rider Guy Martin finished third, just inches ahead of Bruce Anstey on a Padgetts Honda.
Dunlop was battling with Martin in the first superbike race, but lost the front on the brakes into the Hairpin, allowing Martin to clinch his first international superbike race win of the year.
Martin crossed the line 5.491s clear of Gary Johnson on a Padgetts Honda, while Conor Cummins place third on the second of the Tyco Suzukis.
But Dunlop, riding his Hunts Motorcycles/McAdoo Honda, was determined not to make that mistake again in the second superbike race of the day that closed the curtain on a sun-blessed meeting that attracted what UGP supremo Noel Johnston described as 'the best crowd I’ve seen at Dundrod in the 11 years I’ve been Clerk of Course.'
The race saw the lead change hands several times between Dunlop and Martin - but the local rider’s decisive move came on the exit of the Hairpin and allowed him to cross the line 0.360s ahead of the Suzuki and score his first-ever international superbike win on the roads.
Conor Cummings finished third in both superbike races to mark his return to really top form.
William Dunlop was leading what was shaping up to be an epic first supersport race from Padgetts Honda rider Bruce Anstey going into the fourth lap, but the race was red-flagged and the result called at three laps in favour of the Wilson Craig Honda man.
In the second Supersport Anstey won yet another thrilling battle, crossing the line 0.194s ahead of Dunlop – the lead changing hands several times in the final lap.
Ryan Farquhar dominated the Supertwins race, to claim victory in every one of the big three international road races this year. Farquhar’s understudy, Jamie Hamilton made it another brilliant 1-2 for the KMR Kawasaki team.
Davy Morgan scored his first-ever UGP race when he won the 250cc race from Seamus Elliott and Kevin Strowger. Morgan’s adversary Paul Robinson went out when an exhaust pipe flange cracked.