It was another seriously fast practice session at the Ulster Grand Prix, with Manxman Conor Cummins posting the first 134mph lap of the meeting to take pole in the Superbike catagory with a time of 3:18.631 ahead of Silicone Engineering Kawasaki rider Dean Harrison.
Simths Racing's Peter Hickman crossed the line in third place, despite falling foul of technical difficulties during the session.
With the sun shining over Dundrod, riders were able to take full advantage of the dry conditions, ahead of this afternoon's opening races and wetter weather, with the vast majority of participants improving their times from Wednesday, across all classes.
Lapping at an impressive 134.138mph, Padgett's Racing's Cummins has set a new benchmark ahead of the first races at the 2018 Ulster Grand Prix.
Sitting 0.903 seconds ahead of second place man Harrison, who shaved 1.627 seconds off his own fastest-time-of-the-day from yesterday, the pairing will line up ahead of Hickman on the grid, who sits 2.114 seconds back on Cummins with a time of 3:20.745.
Kicking off the day was the second practice session for the Superstock machines, with Dean Harrison claiming pole position ahead of Saturday’s race aboard his Kawasaki machine.
Capitalising on the improved weather conditions, Harrison upped his time over yesterday by an impressive 4.918 seconds, with a fastest lap of 3:20.668.
Second on the grid will be the BMW S1000RR of Hickman, who again bettered his lap time from Wednesday with a 3:21.310 – some 1.857 seconds faster than yesterday, at an average speed of 132.353mph.
Third will be the Suzuki rider Davey Todd, who also went faster this morning than in Wednesday’s red-flagged session. Todd was 4.382 seconds faster than his previous best time, lapping at 131.436mph with a time of 3:22.714.
In the Supersport class, it was once again the Kawasaki of Harrison dominating proceedings, leading Padgett’s rider Cummins by 0.911 seconds to take pole. With a fastest time in the early afternoon session of 3:29.043, Harrison managed to up his pace from yesterday by almost three seconds.
Behind Manxman Cummins came Adam McLean, who jumped up the order from ninth after an impressive improvement of 5.577 seconds and a time of 3:30.244, at a speed of 126.729mph.
In the second of the Lightweight sessions, it was Joey Thompson who lead the way ahead of this afternoon’s five-lap race. Thompson was able to lap the 7.4011-mile course a whole 1.205mph faster than second place man, Davy Morgan, with a speed of 113.949mph.
Morgan set a best time of 3:56.323, which was over a minute faster than his fastest lap from Wednesday. Behind him came Neil Kernohan, who after setting the early the pace the day before, was unable to match the speed of Thompson and Morgan.
Sharing the session were the Ultra-Lightweight machines. Christian Elkin ended the session at the top of the pile, sticking his Moto3-spec Honda on pole with a lap time of 4:04.581 at a speed of 108.937mph.
Elkin sits 3.161 seconds ahead of Paul Robinson, who went just-shy of 10 seconds faster during the second session of the meeting, with a time of 4:07.742.
Third in the standings is Derek McGee, despite not riding in the second practice stint after an incident with Seamus Elliott in Wednesday’s Superbike and Superstock session.
Remember to check back here this evening for a round-up of this afternoon's race results, too.
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