Ulster GP: Guy Martin and Lee Johnston off to flying start

Guy Martin clinched pole position for the Superstock race at the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix
Guy Martin clinched pole position for the Superstock race at the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix

Tyco BMW’s Guy Martin shot to the top of the times to secure pole position for Saturday’s Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix in the Superstock class.

The Lincolnshire rider, who has won 11 times at the fastest road race in the world but has yet to break his duck in the Superstock class, lapped at 129.510mph to hold off Scotland’s Keith Amor on the Rig Deluge BMW by 0.3 seconds.

Amor clocked 129.317mph to keep his nose ahead of Martin’s Tyco BMW team-mate William Dunlop, who completed the front row positions with a lap of 129.264mph.

Isle of Man TT hat-trick hero Ian Hutchinson heads up the fourth row after a speed of 129.196mph on the PBM Kawasaki and is joined by Northern Ireland’s Lee Johnston (East Coast/Burdens BMW) and Michael Dunlop on his MD Racing BMW as only one second separated the top half dozen.

Bradford racer Dean Harrison was seventh on the R1M for Ulster team Mar-Train Racing ahead of Louth man Peter Hickman (Briggs Equipment BMW) and Ivan Lintin on the RC Express Kawasaki.

New Zealand’s Bruce Anstey, a double winner last year, was 11th on the Valvoline Padgetts Honda.

Meanwhile, Fermanagh rider Johnston was quickest in the Supersport class to seal pole on the East Coast/Burdens Triumph.

The 26-year-old lapped at 127.375mph to finish ahead of Kiwi Anstey (127.510mph) with Guy Martin filling the front row on the Tyco Triumph – the same machine he rode for Smiths Racing at the TT – after a lap of 126.694mph.

Ulsterman William Dunlop was fourth fastest on the Chris Dowd/Ivan Curran Yamaha (126.610mph) followed by Amor and British Supersport star Glenn Irwin on the Gearlink Kawasaki.

Irwin, who only made his Dundrod debut in 2014, is competing at the Ulster Grand Prix in the Supersport class for the first time and threw his hat into the mix with a brilliant lap of 125.946mph to clinch a second row start.

Row three consists of Supersport TT double winner Hutchinson on the Team Traction Control Yamaha (125.221mph), Mar-Train Yamaha’s Harrison and Manx rider Dan Kneen (Valvoline Padgetts Honda).

Michael Dunlop finished down in tenth place and is joined on the fourth row by Ramsey’s Conor Cummins (Jackson Honda) and Irish Supersport short circuit regular Robert Kennedy in a fine 12th place.