2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Results – Saturday 11th August 2018

2018 Ulster Grand Prix
2018 Ulster Grand Prix

It’s the final day of the Northern Irish Road Racing Calendar, and it’s one of the biggest – The 2018 Ulster Grand Prix Saturday Race Day. 

This article is being written real time during the event, in a new approach for me, it may work it may not.  So I welcome your comments and input either way.  That should explain why things may bounce about a little, but if it works I may use it in the future as a sort of live blog…

The day got off to an absolutely flying start with Peter Hickman showing once again that he is the fastest road racer on the planet and had his eyes firmly fixed on breaking more records – breaching 200 mph at the Flying Kilo speedtrap…

The previous best was held by William Dunlop #6 (RIP) at a still whopping 200.4 mph. 

Read on for the results and a brief summary of the day’s racing.

2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 1 : Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Superstock Race :

Unfortunately the first race (Superstocks) was red flagged on lap four and the race declared a result.

2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 1 : Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Superstock Race
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 1 : Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Superstock Race
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 1 : Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Superstock Race
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 1 : Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Superstock Race
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 1 : Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Superstock Race
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 1 : Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Superstock Race

After a delay for investigation it was announced that one of riders involved was up and about and another was taken to hospital by ambulance.  No further details are known at the time of writing.

UPDATE : 

Statement from The Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club 11/08/2018
Statement from The Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club 11/08/2018

2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 2 : Whitemountain Centra Supersport Race :

The 600cc machines were next to take to the circuit and after a pretty poor start from Peter Hickman dropping back to about 7th within seconds he was back up to third and was leading the race by almost a second by the end of the first lap!

By the end of lap 2 Hicky still had 0.9s on Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston had the accolade of the fastest lap of the race sitting in third place just behind Deano.

At the end of the third it sits with Hicky, 1.1s ahead of Dean Harrison Lee Johnston in third, Conor Cummings in 4th, Adam McLean in 5th and an impressive opening from Paul Jordan holding well in 6th.  

During the fourth lap we lose Dean Harrison to retirement and Lee Johnston and Conor Cummins start their own duel for second.  Hicky takes the lap record (just outside the lap record) and seems to have this one sewn up with some style.  The retirement of Harrison leaves no one near him.  

The head to head between the Padgett’s bikes continues and allows Adam McLean the chance to gather a little ground and at the start of the final lap it’s Hickman, Cummins, Johnston, McLean.  

Michael Sweeney, Paul Jordan, Dan Cooper and Joey Thompson enjoyed a great battle in the next group.  

Peter Hickman takes the win, Lee Johnston snipes across the line just ahead of Conor Cummins, with Adam McLean in fourth, Michael Sweeney in fifth and Paul Jordan in sixth  

That was a great race, if you missed it, watch the highlights!

2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 2 : Whitemountain Centra Supersport Race
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 2 : Whitemountain Centra Supersport Race
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 2 : Whitemountain Centra Supersport Race
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 2 : Whitemountain Centra Supersport Race
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 2 : Whitemountain Centra Supersport Race
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 2 : Whitemountain Centra Supersport Race

I never would have thought I would be retweeting Iron Maiden, but here we go…

2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 3 : MMB Superbike Race :

In a slight amendment to the planned schedule the Superbikes came out next for the MMB Superbike Race.  That’s a great call from the Clerk of the Course, having missed the superbikes on Thursday, I personally think it is important for the club to make sure they get their blue ribbon race run when possible and in the best conditions possible.  Today watching the weather the only certainty was that it was not going to get any better.  

The quote of the day has to go to Dom Herbertson… 

Q.  Happy enough with row 4 on the grid?

A.  Aye it’s better than row 5!

Conor Cummins got off to an amazing start and early on it is Dean Harrison leading Peter Hickman with Conor Cummins in third, Davey Todd and David Johnson in fourth and fifth, Lee Johnston and Paul Jordan in sixth and seventh.

Peter Hickman’s bike spends an awful lot of time on its back wheel as he fights it out with Dean Harrison until a red flag comes out and halts the race on lap 2.

In the early stages of the restart we have Cummins leading from Hickman, Harrison holds third.  The weather has taken a turn for the worse and it could only be described as damp,  not quite raining, not quite dry, a bit grey and miserable to be honest.

David Johnson and Lee Johnston from Paul Jordan hold fourth, fifth and sixth.  

Conor Cummins unfortunately falls at the Lindsay hairpin, Hickman then leads, Harrison pits in and Lee Johnston takes second and also the fastest lap of the race on lap 2 when another red flags halts the race.  

It was all a bit chaotic and lots of bikes seemed to be pulling up / retiring, the conditions had the lap times around 7 / 8 mph slower than the lap record.  

Thankfully this red flag was called by the clerk of the Course due to the worsening weather conditions.  A difficult call I’m sure, but the right call.  

This puts racing in a difficult position, it’s getting late, the weather is affecting the light, and is in,ikely to improve. It needs to rain now to be honest, but just enough to wet the track, standing water will now no doubt end the day.  A wet track means wet tyres, a mixed track is useless and unsafe and this Northern Irish ‘mizzle’ isnt good for anything.

It looks like a long delay ahead, and maybe even a change of schedule and the lightweights making an appearance could be an option…

After around 40 minutes the change of schedule comes to fruition and the lightweights and ultra lightweights come out.  The superbike Race has been declared a result after a mere two laps.  The lightweights get a warmup lap and then the start is again delayed, this time do to fog, you couldn’t write this script!

2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 3 : MMB Superbike Race :
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 3 : MMB Superbike Race :
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 3 : MMB Superbike Race :
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 3 : MMB Superbike Race :
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 3 : MMB Superbike Race :
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 3 : MMB Superbike Race :

2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 4 : Plant Lubrication (NI) Ultralightweight / Lightweight Race :

Shaun Anderson starts well and Neil Kernohan is left chasing him after a poor start. Daryl Tweed takes up third. Christian Elkin takes the lead in the ULW.

By the start of lap 2 and we have Neil Kernohan as the fastest man on the circuit but still about 6 seconds off the lead. 

And as things had started to heat up we get another red flag. 

The LW / ULW Race gets red flagged on lap 2 due to fog at Wheeler’s.  It got so much that one flag marshal couldn’t see the next.  When it’s at that stage it’s obviously the correct call.

I can see this being the end of the day or at least this being declared a result to see if we can get the supertwins out?

The LW / ULW Race was called as a result and here’s how things finished off :

2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 4 : Plant Lubrication (NI) Ultralightweight / Lightweight Race
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 4 : Plant Lubrication (NI) Ultralightweight / Lightweight Race
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 4 : Plant Lubrication (NI) Ultralightweight / Lightweight Race
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 4 : Plant Lubrication (NI) Ultralightweight / Lightweight Race
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 4 : Plant Lubrication (NI) Ultralightweight / Lightweight Race
2018 Ulster Grand Prix : Race 4 : Plant Lubrication (NI) Ultralightweight / Lightweight Race

Three quarters of an hour later and things are looking any better…

To be fair I wouldn’t be too interested in racing through that!

And that seems to have been the general consensus from the officials and riders as shortly after 17:30 hrs racing at the 2018 Ulster Grand Prix was abandoned.

It just really didn’t happen today, but when everything is against you what can you do?  No one can be blamed when race incidents and the weather beat you into submission.  

We were treated to an outstanding Supersports Race, but it will be at least 2019 before the UGP can seek to claim back its title as the World’s Fastest Road Race, until such times that is going to belong to the Isle of Man TT.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: