NW200 Superbikes: Dunlop scorches to pole position

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Michael Dunlop has taken pole position for Saturday’s North West 200 headline superbike races, taking the top spot with a late lap that blew away the lap record around the 9 mile circuit to lap it at an average speed of 122.274mph.

Setting a lap time of 4:24.095 to oust Michael Rutter’s 2011 qualifying record by 2 seconds and Alastair Seeley’s 2010 race record by almost a second, as he demoted the pair to second and third on the grid, 0.955 and 1.451 seconds behind respectively.

Guy Martin leads the second row of the grid, taking the Tyco Suzuki to just ahead of his teammate William Dunlop in fifth, while Bruce Anstey was best Honda on the Valvoline Padgetts bike in sixth.

Conor Cummins will start in seventh, but his Honda Racing teammate John McGuinness continues to struggle with a recovering wrist injury and will start back in fifteenth. Stuart Easton is eighth on the Rapid Solicitors PBM Kawasaki, with fellow BSB racer Martin Jessop ninth.

James Hillier completes the top ten on the fourth row, with Horst Saiger and the Milwaukee Yamaha duo of Josh Brookes and Ian Hutchinson. Lee Johnston is fourteenth ahead of McGuinness.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer