Bike Week will be the ‘biggest and best ever’

Monday marks the beginning of Bike Week and Northern Ireland looks forward to next Saturday (8 August)'s Ulster Grand Prix races. Organiser are hoping for the best Bike Week yet following a record number of race entries. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

Monday marks the beginning of Bike Week and Northern Ireland looks forward to next Saturday (8 August)'s Ulster Grand Prix races. Organiser are hoping for the best Bike Week yet following a record number of race entries. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

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Local motor-cycling fans are all geared up for a bigger and better Ulster GP.

That’s the hope of Dundrod & District Motorycycle Club President James Courtney, who is optimistic that Bike Week will deliver after a record number of 170 entries were made for the week’s racing at the Dundrod 150 national races and the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix.

“We’ve been working hard to improve the fan experience at Dundrod and this year we believe we’ve taken it to another level,” he said.

“We intend to have the biggest and best Bike Week yet with improved camping facilities, bigger grandstands and a full line up of top-class entertainment to keep everyone entertained throughout the week.

Local fans’ favourites Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop will race in the GP, alongside the likes of Ian Hutchinson, Dean Harrison, Lee Johnston and William Dunlop with riders coming in from 17 countries.

Around 50,000 fans are expected to descend on the Dundrod circuit over the course of the week, which kicks off on Monday evening with the Harley Davidson Event and BBQ.

The main action on the track will take place on Thursday with the UGP practice and five Dundrod 150 races.

Saturday, as always, will feature the Ulster Grand Prix races but organisers have scheduled plenty more to entertain fans throughout Bike Week.

From stunt displays and class bikes displays to musicians and quizzes, there’s lots going on and Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston is excited for it all to get started.

He said: “The Ulster Grand Prix is one of the largest local outdoor sporting events, and its popularity shows no sign of waning, in fact many fans and competitors will tell you it’s their favourite event.

“It offers a superb opportunity to showcase not only what the world’s fastest road race has to offer, but also Northern Ireland as a destination,” Noel added.

“As always, there’s a great representation of local riders from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as well as the rest of the UK and across Europe, and the calibre of the entries is outstanding.

“From the established names to the newcomers, we’re in for some great racing,” he concluded.