Saturday’s Ulster Grand Prix saw some of the closest racing of any road race event this year with all the seven races going right to the line.
Adrian Archibald dominated the main race of the day taking the Superbike win after setting a new lap record of 128.201mph to break away from Ryan Farquhar and Ian Lougher. But Farquhar finished just half a second down on Archibald after passing Lougher who had slowed, struggling to see through the flies on his visor.
The 1000cc Production race saw Archibald at the top again battling with Bruce Anstey for the lead. The pair set a blazing pace and broke away from the pack with Anstey setting a new class lap record to take the win by just 0.11 seconds, ahead of Archibald.
The 600cc production race was run as a separate race this year allowing all the top riders to compete, but it was local rider Darran Lindsay that took the win.
Lindsay, who lives on the course, led the race from the start with Lougher, Archibald, John McGuinness and Richard Britton all close on his heals. But Lindsay set a new class lap record on his final time round to make sure he kept the lead from Lougher who finished 25 seconds behind.
The 125cc race and the Supersport 400 race were run at the same time but it was the 400cc race that drew people’s attention. Ian Duffus, Ryan Farquhar, and Jason Griffiths fought hard throughout the race with all three breaking the lap record on the final lap. But Farquhar just missed out on the win when Duffus beat him to the line by just 0.6 seconds.
After his win Duffus announced that he was retiring from road racing. He withdrew from the rest of the day’s races to finish his career with a win.
The Supersport 600 race was another close run event, with the opening laps seeing six-riders breaking the class lap record. Lougher led the charge followed by Lindsay, Archibald, Farquhar, Britton, and Griffiths, but after much shuffling Lougher managed to keep the lead to the line and win the race.
Drama occurred on the last lap as Farquhar pushed Lindsay on to the grass verge when he passed him on the inside. The move put Farquhar off as well letting Archibald slip through to take second. Farquhar recovered to take third but Lindsay ended up fifth behind Britton.
Archibald was at the front again in the Open Superbike race but his bike failed half way through leaving Lougher and Anstey to fight for the win. Lougher eventually crossed the line just 0.1 seconds in front of Anstey to take his second win of the day.
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