NW200: Alastair Seeley sets pace in Superstock and Supersport classes

Alastair Seeley made hay as the sun shone on the final day of qualifying at the Vauxhall International North West 200.

Thursday, 17th May 2018, 2:56 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:31 am

On a glorious day on the North Coast, the 21-time winner claimed pole in the Supersport and Superstock sessions.

Seeley began the day on the Tyco BMW and repeated his feat from Tuesday on the S1000RR as the Carrick man lapped at 121.37mph to lead the way by two seconds from Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki), who clocked 120.43mph.

Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop was third quickest on his MD Racing BMW as he set his fastest lap at 120.40mph, finishing 2.1 seconds down on Seeley.

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Alastair Seeley pictured on the Tyco BMW Superstock machine at York Corner.

The evergreen Michael Rutter, who has won 14 races at the event, was fourth fastest on the Bathams BMW with a lap of 120.022mph followed by Tyco BMW rider Dan Kneen and Peter Hickman on the Smiths BMW.

James Hillier (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) and Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW) were the top eight.

Seeley was again in hot form in the Supersport session when he switched to the EHA Racing Yamaha and again set the benchmark.

The 38-year-old, who has won ten races in the class since 2008, claimed pole with a speed of 116.96mph.

Martin Jessopp was second fastest in the Supersport session and claimed pole for the Supertwins races.

Martin Jessopp, a winner in the class in 2017, was second fastest on the Riders Motorcycles Triumph at 115.78mph, 2.8 seconds behind Seeley, while Dean Harrison went third on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki (115.685mph).

Michael Dunlop (MD Racing Honda), Lee Johnston (Padgett’s Honda) and William Dunlop on the Temple Golf Club/Caffrey Yamaha rounded out the top six.

Adam McLean was next on the McAdoo Kawasaki with Manx rider Conor Cummins slotting into eighth on the Padgett’s Honda.

Tobermore rider McLean was involved in a dramatic crash on his final lap of Supertwins qualifying.

Michael Dunlop was third fastest on his MD Racing BMW in the Superstock class.

The 22-year-old clipped the kerb on the exit of the Juniper Hill chicane and went down heavily, but thankfully McLean escaped unhurt.

He still finished second fastest in the class on Roy Hanna’s Kawasaki, only 0.038 seconds behind pole man Jessopp, who led the way at 108.897mph.

Yorkshireman James Cowton was third fastest on the McAdoo Kawasaki, 1.1 seconds off pole, with Joey Thompson fourth on the ILR Kawasaki.

Mullingar man Derek McGee was fifth on Ryan Farquhar’s Kawasaki ahead of Jeremy McWilliams, who is also ride a KMR Kawasaki for the Dungannon team.