Ulster Grand Prix: Gary Johnson entry boost for Dundrod
The Ulster Grand Prix has received a timely boost with the news that English rider Gary Johnson will compete at this week's international event at Dundrod.
The former Supersport TT winner had been scheduled to race for the Honda TT Legends team at the World Endurance round at Oschersleben next weekend.
However the Lincolnshire rider has not been included in the three-man team for the event in Germany.
Johnson will ride a Padgett's Superbike and hopes to have other Honda bikes.
That should enable him to take in the Supersport and Superstock classes at the 90th anniversary of the meeting.
Johnson will face stiff competition from Padgett's team-mate Bruce Anstey, who holds the lap record for the 7.4-mile circuit.
The quietly spoken New Zealander has not raced since taking in the Isle of Man TT at the start of June.
Guy Martin, an eight-times UGP winner, will spearhead the Tyco TAS Suzuki challenge, along with Manxman Conor Cummins, who is fit again after injuring his wrist in a crash at the North West 200.
Michael Dunlop will start as favourite to record several wins but his efforts may be hampered by two slipped discs in his back.
Dunlop has been in fine form in recent weeks with five wins at the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man, followed by a double at Walderstown and a treble at the Armoy road races.
William Dunlop is another who is struggling with injury, having sustained rib injuries and a broken collarbone at Skerries last month.
Another local favourite, Ryan Farquhar, is likely to take part in the Superbike, Superstock and Supertwins races.
Among the other notable entries are Manxman Dan Kneen, veteran Welshman Ian Lougher, Australian David Johnson and young road race sensation Dean Harrison.
John McGuinness and Cameron Donald will be absent because of their participation in the World Endurance race.
Ulster Grand Prix Bike Week schedule
Wednesday - Roads close for practice from 13:30 BST to 21:30 BST
Thursday - Roads close from 10:30 BST to 20:30 BST for practice and Dundrod 150 races
Race 1 - Dundrod 150 National; Race 2 - UGP 125cc and Supertwins; Race 3 - Dundrod 150 Challenge; Race 4 - Dundrod 150 Superbike
Saturday - Roads close from 09:30 BST to 20:30 BST for Ulster Grand Prix
Race 1 - Superstock; Race 2 - Supersport Race 1; Race 3 - 250cc and Supertwins; Race 4 - Ulster Grand Prix Superbike Race; Race 5 - Supersport Race 2; Race 6 - Superbike Race 2