NW200: Alastair Seeley tops Tuesday Superbike and Supersport times

Alastair Seeley put down an early marker as he topped the first Supersport and Superbike practice sessions at the Vauxhall International North West 200 on Tuesday.

Alastair Seeley on the Gearlink Kawasaki on Tuesday at the North West 200.
Alastair Seeley on the Gearlink Kawasaki on Tuesday at the North West 200.

The Superbike session was reduced to 25 minutes following a red flag incident the Supersport class, when a rider came off at the Black Hill section of the Triangle course. He was not reported to have any serious injuries.

Riding the Tyco BMW, 17-time winner Seeley headed the times on the S1000RR with his best lap set in 4m 25.100s to lead Michael Rutter on the Bathams BMW, who was 1.570s behind.

Michael Dunlop impressed first time out on the roads on the Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000, lapping in 4m 27.639s as the Ballymoney rider finished 2.5 seconds down on Seeley.

He was followed by Ian Hutchinson the Tyco BMW, while Glenn Irwin made a terrific start on the PBM Ducati. The Carrick man, making his Superbike bow at the event as he returns to the North West for only the second time, was fifth quickest, 4.9 seconds off pacesetter Seeley.

Martin Jessopp (Riders BMW) was sixth fastest ahead of John McGuinness on the Honda Racing Fireblade SP2, who was some seven seconds off the pace set by Seeley. Fermanagh rider Lee Johnston completed the top six on the Jackson Racing Honda.

In the earlier Supersport session, it was Seeley who led the way on the Gearlink Kawasaki by 1.5 seconds from Bradford’s Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki).

Johnston was third fastest followed by Jessopp, while McGuinness (Jackson Honda) and Michael Dunlop (MD Racing Yamaha) were the top six.

William Dunlop never managed a lap on his IC Racing/Caffrey Yamaha after running into problems on his very first lap.