Michael Dunlop has been declared fit to race at this week’s fonaCAB Ulster Grand Prix after passing a medical on Monday evening.
Ballymoney man Dunlop is making his return to Dundrod after missing the event last year but the 30-year-old is nursing a series of injuries.
A crash at the Southern 100 last month left him with a broken pelvis and hip joint, plus several broken ribs.
Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston said: “I am delighted to announce Michael Dunlop will compete at this year’s Ulster Grand Prix.
“After he sustained injuries in a crash at the Southern 100 on July 11, the UGP organisers wanted to be certain Michael would be fit to ride at Dundrod.
“A medical examination by a doctor from the MCUI Medical team was requested and carried out today. Michael has passed that examination and will now line up for practice on Wednesday morning on his Tyco BMW.”
Dunlop appeared to have aggravated his wrist injury following his battling Superbike double on the Tyco BMW at Armoy.
The 19-time Isle of Man TT winner attended hospital after the race and emerged with his right forearm in plaster. A few days later, he posted a picture on his Facebook page suggesting he was going to remove the cast himself and has vowed to race on.
He will now do just that after successfully passing his medical and Dunlop will be aiming to challenge for his first Ulster GP victory since 2013.
His brace at Armoy, including a record eighth ‘Race of Legends’ success in a row, was a welcome boost for Dunlop as he clinched his first wins this year on the Tyco BMW.
It will be a stiffer task for the crocked racer this week, but Dunlop isn’t one to shirk a challenge, even if Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison look the most likely winners.
The English duo are international road racing’s current top two following dominant performances at the Isle of Man TT and go into the Dundrod showpiece as the big favourites.
Fermanagh’s Lee Johnston also flies the flag for Northern Ireland against the overseas raiders and the 30-year-old has been in fine form this year on his Ashcourt Racing machines.
Johnston is aiming to complete the set of Supersport victories at the ‘big three’ road races following wins on his Yamaha at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT, where he stood on the top step for the first time in June.
He is also a leading contender in the Superbike and Superstock races on his 1000cc BMW at Dundrod, where the small-in-stature Johnston does not face the same physical challenges as he does on the big bikes at the TT.
Paul Jordan from Magherafelt is also capable of ruffling a few feathers on his Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki and 600 Yamaha machines, although McAdoo Racing’s Adam McLean unfortunately misses out through injury.
The Isle of Man’s Conor Cummins will be one of Hickman and Harrison’s chief rivals on the Milenco by Padgett’s Honda machines, whilst Davey Todd is a serious dark horse.
Todd won his first international road race at the North West 200 in May on the Milenco by Padgett’s Honda Supersport machine and will again ride for Clive Padgett at Dundrod.
He also can’t be dismissed on the Penz13.com BMW after finishing in a stunning sixth place in the Senior TT, when he lapped at over 131mph in only his second year at the event.
Australia’s David Johnson leads the charge for the Honda Racing team although Ian Hutchinson misses out as he recovers from surgery to have a plate removed from his injured leg.
Yorkshireman Jamie Coward also warrants plenty of respect on his Prez Racing Yamaha machines after impressing at the Isle of Man TT, whilst Derek Sheils has the top five in his sights on the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Suzuki and cannot be dismissed lightly, especially if conditions are less than perfect.
Practice commences on Wednesday, with roads closed from 10am-9.30pm.