Seeley on pole in three classes at NW200

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Alastair Seeley will start three classes and six races at this year’s North West 200 from pole position after topping nearly all of the time sheets in today’s final qualifying for the Northern Irish race meeting.

He heads the superbike session by an incredible three and a half seconds from a pair of impressive performances from Lee Johnston and John McGuinness – but the diminutive local says that the pace came easy to him.

It’s gone to plan so far  – we’ve just done our own thing, gone out and enjoyed the event, and the bike shave worked well for us.  It doesn’t really matter where I start off the sessions on the grid from – I can still catch the guys in front of me, which is nice!

“We didn’t make any major changes to the bike from Tuesday because there is no point in fixing what isn’t broken. I made a tyre change on the Stocker that I wanted to try on the big bike but the session was cut short and I didn’t get the chance.”

Last year’s feature race winner Michael Dunlop was over 5.5 seconds slower on the Milwaukee Yamaha than Seeley’s fastest time, and will start from back in seventh, behind Bruce Anstey, brother William and Michael Rutter.

Dunlop fared better in the Superstock class where he was only 0.752 seconds slower than Seeley on the stock version of the Milwaukee Yamaha with Lee Johnston once again making the top three on the ECR/Burdens BMW.

Comeback hero and 2012 winner Ryan Farquhar topped the listings in the Supertwin class on his SGS/KMR Kawasaki ahead of Martin Jessopp (VRS Kawasaki) and James Hillier (Quattro Plant Kawasaki). Grand Prix legend Jeremy McWilliams was fourth quickest on a second SGS/KMR Kawasaki 

In the Supersport class Bruce Anstey was second fastest to Seeley, 0.695 seconds slower with William Dunlop taking third in spite of his crash at York, which saw the session being red flagged. But once again it was newcomer Glenn Irwin who caused a sensation, taking fourth spot on the Gearlink Kawasaki.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer