Monday, 16 August 2010

Stunning Ulster GP Bike Week for Amor

Knox-armour protected Keith Amor enjoyed one of his best ever week's road racing, climbing the podium in all six of his races at the Ulster GP Bike Week. The KBMG Racing rider was in imperious form and he was able to take his second ever International Road Race win (his first at the Ulster GP), a win in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race and a brace of seconds and thirds in his remaining four races at the high-speed Dundrod circuit.

Thursday’s Dundrod 150 Superbike race set the trend for the week when Keith was embroiled in a terrific tussle with Ian Hutchinson. When the Honda rider retired on the third lap, Keith was able to take his Superstock BMW, simply fitted with slick tyres, to a commanding 4.75s win, setting the fastest lap of the race.

With fine weather on Saturday for the Ulster GP proper, Keith led the first four laps of the Superstock race only for Hutchinson to take over a lap later. The duo were 8 seconds clear of the rest of the pack when Keith re-took the lead on the penultimate lap. However, the red flag came out and with the result going back a lap, Keith had to settle for second place.

The first Supersport 600cc race saw the duo joined by Michael Dunlop and again Keith led the first four laps before Hutchinson pushed him back to second and he ended the race just 0.176s adrift on the Kojak Racing Honda. Next up was the feature Superbike race where the same pattern emerged. Lapping at over 133mph, Keith led early on once more before being pushed back to second by nemesis Hutchinson and at the chequered flag, the Suzuki of Bruce Anstey had relegated him to third as they encountered some backmarkers.

The second Supersport race saw a four-way battle between Keith, Hutchinson and Michael and William Dunlop with positions changing throughout. The race was held in two 3-lap legs due to an incident and, lying second after the first 3 laps, Keith had to get the better of Hutchinson by half a second to get the win on aggregate. It was nip and tuck all the way between the quartet but Keith wasn’t to be denied and after hitting the front on the final lap, he got the overall verdict over Hutchinson by 0.210s for his first ever Ulster GP win.

The final race of the day was the second Superbike race and it was nothing short of sensational as Keith battled it out with Hutchinson, Anstey, Cameron Donald and Guy Martin. Second on each of the first four laps, there was literally inches between the riders as they lapped at record-breaking speeds but, after a last lap sort-out, Keith had to settle for third place on the BMW behind race winner Anstey and Hutchinson with just 0.335s separating them at the end of the five laps. Keith also posted a personal best lap of 133.435mph to round out a truly memorable day.

Pictures by Alan Armstrong Photography

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