ULSTER GP: Michael Dunlop blasts to Superstock pole

Michael Dunlop has a look over his shoulder for the opposition during Thursday's Superstock qualifying session at Dundrod
Michael Dunlop has a look over his shoulder for the opposition during Thursday's Superstock qualifying session at Dundrod

Six-time Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix winner Michael Dunlop has secured pole position in the Superstock class at Dundrod.

The 25-year-old from Ballymoney has already won on his MD Racing BMW Superstock machine at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT this season and is now closing in on a clean sweep of the class in the ‘big three’ road races.

Dunlop was the only rider to lap in excess of 131mph at the 7.4-mile circuit as he set the best lap of 131.657mph to take the number one spot by almost three seconds from Bradford’s Dean Harrison in second on the RC Express Kawasaki (129.769mph).

Lincolnshire’s Guy Martin, who is the fourth most successful rider ever at the Ulster Grand Prix with 11 wins, completes the front row after clocking a quickest speed of 129.605mph.

Fermanagh’s Lee Johnston on the Pirtek Honda (129.263mph), exciting newcomer Peter Hickman (129.248mph) and Isle of Man rider Dan Kneen (129.197mph) complete the top six.

The third row consists of Valvoline Padgetts Honda star Bruce Anstey, Crumlin man Stephen Thompson on the Bathams BMW and Dubliner Derek Sheils.

In an interrupted Supersport 600 qualifying session, Johnston clinched pole for Saturday’s two races with a speed of 126.825mph to edge out Tyco Suzuki’s William Dunlop – three times a winner in this class at Dundrod – who posted his best time on Wednesday at 126.578mph.

Michael Dunlop completes the front row of the grid on his MD Racing Honda, with the Ulster star also setting his best lap of 126.569mph during Wednesday’s first qualifying session.

English prospect Dean Harrison was fourth on the Mar-Train Racing Yamaha (126.434mph) followed by Anstey (126.375mph) and Martin (125.759mph).

Cookstown B.E. Racing rider Kneen and Derek McGee from Mullingar were the top eight.

Former Grand Prix rider Danny Webb, a newcomer at Dundrod, came off at Joey’s Windmill during the Supersport session and was taken to hospital with suspected fractures.

Practice was restarted, but Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston scrapped the session when riders ignored waved yellow flags after Russ Mountford came off at the Lindsay Hairpin.

Superstock: 1 M Dunlop 131.657mph, 2 D Harrison 129.769mph, 3 G Martin 129.605mph, 4 L Johnston 129.263mph, 5 P Hickman 129.248mph, 6 D Kneen 129.197mph.

Supersport: 1 L Johnston 126.825mph, 2 W Dunlop 126.578mph, 3 M Dunlop 126.569mph, 4 D Harrison 126.434mph, 5 B Anstey 126.375mph, 6 G Martin 125.759mph.