Triangle titan Alastair Seeley gave his North West 200 rivals plenty to think about as the Tyco BMW rider produced a commanding performance to seal a practice treble.
The Carrickfergus rider overcame howling winds and driving rain to take provisional pole in the Superbike and Supersport classes before recording the fastest lap of the day at 118.306mph on a drying track in the Superstock session, firing a major opening day salvo at the 8.9-mile course on Tuesday.
Seeley was 3.7 seconds clear of GBmoto Kawasaki’s Gary Johnson in the Superbike class and 4.2 seconds ahead of Michael Dunlop (MD Racing Yamaha) in the Superstock session as he laid down a marker on the Tyco BMW S1000RR machines.
He also topped the Supersport times on the Tyco Suzuki to emerge 1.9 seconds clear of Dunlop, but the 35-year-old isn’t getting carried away despite the hype surrounding his prospects of matching Robert Dunlop’s record of 15 North West 200 wins this week.
A treble would put the two-times British champion on a level footing with roads legend Dunlop, but Seeley is playing it cool.
“If it happens, it happens and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’m just here to enjoy myself and I’ve come into the event relaxed and I want to put on a good show for everybody here,” Seeley said.
“Not very many people get to see me race because I’m over in England all the time in the British championship, so it’s about putting on a good show.
“I’ve a good team and good package and we have three very strong riders in our team, but we also have a grid full of guys who can win races, so I’ll just do my thing,” he added.
“Come Thursday night or Saturday hopefully we can climb onto the podium.”