Dunlop Smashes Records In NW200 Qualifying

by James Charman

Michael Dunlop will start from pole in both the Superbike and Superstock categories after setting a record-breaking pace in qualifying.

Dunlop, riding with an arm injury, stormed to the top in Superbike practice on the BMW Motorrad machine with a qualifying lap record of 122.27mph, beating Michael Rutter‘s BMW, who could only manage a speed of 121.83 and Alastair Seeley‘s Kawasaki in the process. Guy Martin, William Dunlop and Bruce Anstey filled out the top six positions.

The same trio took the top three spots in the Superstock session, with Dunlop narrowly leading a reversed pairing of Seeley and Rutter, promising a close battle to end Thursday night’s racing. Martin Jessopp, the fastest man ever through a speed trap at the North West 200, will line up fourth, with Simon Andrews and Tuesday’s fastest rider Horst Saiger rounding out the top six.

The Supersport category saw Seeley and Rutter, riding a Triumph for this category, continued their dominance by taking the top two spots, leading Lee Johnston‘s Honda.

Johnston also provided a shock by beating Supertwin favourite Keith Amor to pole, with Ivan Lintin taking third and Michael Dunlop rounding out the top four.

Racing begins tonight (Thursday 15th May), with roads closing at 5:15pm and the first race scheduled for approximately 6pm. Live coverage can be found at the BBC Sport NI website.

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