Tyco BMW’s Ian Hutchinson clinched a magnificent victory in a sizzling feature Superbike race at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix on Saturday.
It was Hutchinson’s second win of the day following his triumph earlier in the Superstock race over Michael Dunlop.
The Bingley Bullet was pushed all the way by Bruce Anstey on the Valvoline Padgetts Honda RCV following a gripping encounter, with Dunlop third on the Hawk BMW.
Ballymoney man Dunlop went into the race as the favourite after dominating the class this year at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT, but his chances of completing a clean sweep of the main Superbike races was halted by the in-form Hutchinson.
The Yorkshire rider battled it out with Anstey at the front with Dunlop in hot pursuit. Peter Hickman had also been in contention on his GBmoto Kawasaki until he retired with a problem on lap five at Wheelers. Before then, Hickman set the fastest lap of the race at 133.892mph, which was just shy of Anstey’s 2010 lap record of 133.977mph.
Anstey, Hutchinson and Dunlop continued to battle it out at the front but when the trio encountered slower riders on the final lap, Dunlop dropped back and finished three seconds back in third at the finish.
Hutchinson managed to hold Anstey at bay as the duo went head to head, securing his seventh Ulster GP win and his first victories at Dundrod since 2010.
Ramsey rider Conor Cummins finished fourth on the Honda Racing Fireblade ahead of Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) and Dan Kneen (Mar-Train Yamaha).
William Dunlop was seventh on the MMB Yamaha ahead of Steve Mercer (Devitt RC Express Kawasaki).