William Dunlop set for Bishopscourt

William Dunlop
William Dunlop

William Dunlop will be in action at this weekend’s third round of the AJ Plumbing Ulster Superbike Championship at Bishopscourt in Co Down, promoted by the Temple Club.

Dunlop will ride the new-look Temple Golf Club Yamaha R1 and R6 machines as he continues his preparations for the start of the Irish road racing season at the Cookstown 100 at the end of this month.

Randalstown’s Gerard Kinghan, who leads the championship after the first round following his double victory at the Enkalon meeting over Easter, will be aiming for a repeat on his Kawasaki ZX-10R.

Poor weather on Easter Monday forced the cancellation of round two of the championship at Kirkistown, leaving positions unchanged after the Enkalon Trophy meeting.

Joining Dunlop and Kinghan on the grid on Saturday will be reigning Irish Superbike champion Charles Stuart on his Yamaha R1, who is 10 points behind the series leader.

Tobermore’s Adam McLean is entered on the McAdoo Kawasaki as the young road racing prospect continues to clock up the miles.

McLean is fresh from an impressive third place finish in the National Superstock 600 race at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on Sunday.

David Haire will be in action on his BMW as he returns to the Irish short circuit racing in 2018 following a two-year absence, with entries also received from Aaron Armstrong, Alistair Kirk, Marty Lennon and George Farlow, who made his comeback over Easter at Bishopscourt.

In the Supersport 600 class, Korie and Kia McGreevy are among the favourites although Jason Lynn misses out due to his commitments in the Thundersport GB Championship.

However, the opposition includes Mark Conlin, Christian Elkin, Joseph Loughlin, Kyle Cross, Jamie Rea and Simon Reid.

Practice is due underway from 9am, followed by a 16-race programme from approximately 11.30am.

All races will count towards the Ulster and Irish Championships, with classes including Young Guns/Junior Cup, Moto3, Lightweight Supersport,

Pre Injection, Supertwins and Sidecars.

Admission is £10 per person, with children under the age of 12 free.

The circuit will be open from 4pm on Friday for paddock set-up. Overnight camping is available at no extra cost.

A trophy presentation will take place at the end of the day’s racing for the overall podium positions in each class.

Meanwhile, Michael Dunlop is due to compete in this weekend’s Le Mans 24-hour race (April 21/22).

The 15-time Isle of Man TT winner will ride a Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the legendary race alongside South African Superbike Champion Clinton Seller and Anthony Loiseau for Team R2CL.

Dunlop turned down the chance to renew his contract to ride for Suzuki on the roads this year after winning the Senior TT on the GSX-R1000 in 2017.

The 29-year-old will instead compete in the Superbike class for Northern Ireland’s Tyco BMW team alongside Dan Kneen, with Carrick’s Alastair Seeley also joining the team for the Vauxhall International North West 200 next month.

TAS Racing’s British Superbike riders Michael Laverty and Christian Iddon are also entered for the event, when they will ride for the Penz13.com BMW squad.