Guy Martin has won the opening Superbike race of this year’s Ulster Grand Prix, taking his Tyco Suzuki GSX-R1000 to the top step of the podium from pole position and recording the fastest lap of the race.
Martin set a lap time of 133.313mph on his way to victory, pipping Bruce Anstey to the line, while his teammate William Dunlop finished sixth.
Dunlop made a good start and was running at the front, but after being sat-up by a fellow rider he made a mistake at the following corners, and couldn’t claw back the time.
Martin said of his win, “The boys keep giving me a great Tyco Suzuki to ride and I’m just doing my job boy, just doing my job. But yeah, it’s a good start to the week, although we’ve got a bigger job to do on Saturday.
“The longer races will suit me and I’ve just got to keep the pressure on, but there’s no safer man to ride with than Bruce Anstey.
“On the 600 I think I just need to ‘man up’ a bit, as you really need to wring the neck off the smaller bikes around Dundrod. I want a result on the GSX-R600, but it’s the big class that takes priority with me here this weekend.”
Dunlop said afterwards, “I’m disappointed as I had good pace and was right with Guy into Wheelers on that opening lap. I got lifted up by another rider at the ‘hole in the wall’, then I struggled at the hairpin.
“I did made good progress and recorded my best ever lap times today, but I think I could have finished stronger, although we still have Saturday.”
Team Manager Philip Neill commented, “Superb! Just one second away from the outright lap record in the first race of the UGP Festival is fantastic. Fair play to Bruce Anstey though, as when he’s on top form he takes some beating.
“Guy is certainly a master of Dundrod and has become hard to beat on a Superbike these days. It certainly was an exciting race and it was especially nice to hear Guy praise his Tyco Suzuki GSX-R1000 after the race, describing it as the best it has ever been. That statement is testament to the effort put in by every member of our team, as they all play a part in producing the overall package.
“William pushed hard and set his best ever lap around Dundrod, however he hasn’t been feeling one hundred percent this past few days, but with some rest and a few minor set-up changes I’m sure he will be challenging for podiums on Saturday.
“Let’s hope for some more good weather to produce similar close racing and hopefully we can get some Tyco Suzuki’s on the top step once again.”