NW200 Superstock: Saiger a surprise pole in red flagged session

By Simon Patterson -

TT & road races

 13 May 2014 16:26

Austrian rider Horst Saiger was a surprise provisional pole position in the first qualifying session for the Superstock class at the Vauxhall North West 200, topping the time sheets with a 4:32.427 lap before red flags brought a premature end to the session.

The Bathams BMW due of BSB racer Michael Rutter and local star Stephen Thompson were second and third, with Rutter only 0.099 off Saiger and Thompson a further 0.2 back. The top three, like most of the pack, only managed to complete five laps in the session.

Martin Jessop led row two, with Simon Andrews making it four BMWs in the top five in fifth, with the Honda of Lee Johnston completing the row.

William Dunlop was seventh on the Tyco Suzuki, ahead of Dean Harrison and Gary Johnson, while Dunlop’s teammate Guy Martin completed the top ten. With the red flags coming out early, a number of top riders have yet to complete the five laps required to qualify, but with the weather forecast remaining excellent for Thursday they should have plenty of time.

In a statement released after the session, race organisers said: "The final session of the opening day of practice for the Vauxhall International North West 200 was red flagged because of a crash at Primrose corner. The rider, who was competing in the Superstock class, was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast."