NW200: Johnston quickest in red flagged Superbike qualifying

Published: 15 May 2018

Lee Johnston led the way in a red flagged opening superbike session for this year’s Vauxhall International North West 200.

The diminutive Ulsterman set his time of 4:36.708 to displace Tyco BMW’s Michael Dunlop from the top spot just before the red flags came out to halt the session after what has been reported as a two rider incident at University corner. One competitor has been airlifted to hospital, but no further details are available at this time. 

After a brief shower during the supersport session, the track was very much in mixed conditions for the first 1000cc session of the event.

Michael Dunlop laid down the early marker, sitting himself well ahead of the chasing pack as they clocked up their first laps of the 8.8 mile triangle course.

James Cowton was third quickest ahead of last year’s winner Glenn Irwin while James Hillier completed the top five.

Conor Cummins was sixth quickest for Padgetts Honda ahead of William Dunlop while Derek McGee, Martin Jessopp and Dan Kneen rounded out the top ten.

Returning to the roads for the first time since his Senior TT crash last year, Ian Hutchinson was 12th quickest for Honda Racing.