Tuesday evening’s practice times at the Southern 100 saw a sharp rise in pace as better conditions prevailed around the Billown course, with reigning Solo champion Dean Harrison securing pole in the Senior class.
The Silicone Engineering Kawasaki rider clocked the fastest speed so far at 111.489mph to lead the returning Michael Dunlop (Tyco BWM) by just under one second.
Ulsterman Dunlop, back at the event for the first time since 2017, posted his quickest lap of 110.775mph, which put him clear of Yorkshire’s Jamie Coward on the Prez Racing Yamaha, who managed 108.887mph.
Harrison is bidding to join Joey Dunlop and Guy Martin as the only riders ever to win the Solo Championship race in three consecutive years this week.
Rob Hodson was fourth fastest on his BMW (107.668mph) ahead of Michael Evens, also riding a 1000cc BMW, and Sam West.
Skerries man Michael Sweeney was seventh fastest on the Martin Jones Racing BMW after a lap of 105.981mph.
The Senior race will take place at 6.20pm on Wednesday evening as racing gets underway around the 4.25-mile course.
In the Supersport session, it was Senior TT winner Harrison who again led the way on his 600 Kawasaki, recording a lap of 107.768mph to take pole.
Coward, who impressed at last month’s Isle of Man TT, was second fastest on his Yamaha at 107.230mph, less than a second back on Harrison.
Dunlop was also right in the mix on his MD Racing Honda as he lapped at 107.129mph, qualifying third overall.
The top six was completed by Evans, Dominic Herbertson on the Davies Motorsport Kawasaki and Nathan Harrison. Sweeney was ninth on his Yamaha behind Hodson.
Coward topped the Supertwin times to wrap up pole on the KTS Kawasaki from team-mate Hodson, with Herbertson in third on the Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki.
Herbertson is standing in for Magherafelt man Paul Jordan, who misses out through injury following a crash at Anglesey in Wales. Jordan will be back in action for the team at the Ulster Grand Prix.
Skerries 100 Supertwin race winner Sweeney will line up in fourth on the grid ahead of Jonathan Perry and Stephen McKnight.
The first Supersport, 250/Supertwins and Sidecar races will also be held on Wednesday evening.