NW200: Dunlop leads opening supersport session

Published: 15 May 2018

Michael Dunlop led the way in the opening practice session as this year’s Vauxhall International North West 200 got underway.

The 8.9-mile Triangle circuit was dry for the day’s opening newcomer laps before the first timed session got underway with the 600cc Supersport bikes the first on track.

William Dunlop led the way initially on the Temple Golf Yamaha but his brother Michael headed out on a mission to initially go 2.8 seconds quicker before the elder Dunlop reeled him in to just 0.087 seconds.

Times wouldn’t improve from there with light rain falling around the course bringing most riders back to the pits for a change to wet rubber.

James Hillier was third quickest, 0.7 seconds down on the Dunlop brothers for JG Speedfit Kawasaki in third ahead of Padgetts Racing’s Lee Johnston with Martin Jessopp completing the top five.

Young gun Adam McLean was sixth quickest ahead of Jackson Racing’s Dan Kneen and Lee Hardy Triumph’s Gary Johnson. North West 200 king Alastair Seeley was ninth quickest with Michael Sweeney rounding out the top ten.

Having just announced his new deal with the Padgetts Racing squad for the 600cc class, Ian Hutchinson finished the session  34th quickest after just three laps on the CBR600RR.