Road Racing News

2019 North West 200: Triangle Wizards, International Roads Elite Excel In Opening Superbike Qualifying Session

45 minutes of world class, top draw, elite roads action was witnessed today in the opening Superbike qualifying session, at the North West 200, as a who’s who of International road racing battled it out for provisional pole position.

Tyco BMW’s Michael Dunlop set the pace throughout, prior to a late burst of speed from Silicone Engineering Racing’s Dean Harrison who went onto secure provisional pole, lapping just over four seconds outside the existing outright lap record, recording a best lap time of 4 minutes 26.413 seconds.

Photo by Road Racing Daily

A touch over half a second behind, second quickest Dunlop (4.26.944), it’s fair to say caught a lot by surprise with his consistent, top quality array of lap times, showcasing again that you can never ever write off the 18 times TT winner.

Third quickest behind present Triangle course lap record holder Dunlop, was Alastair Seeley (4.28.050), aboard the great sounding Be Wiser Ducati.

Finishing fourth fastest behind pre race favourite Seeley, Ashcourt Racing’s Lee Johnston (4.29.399) as in this morning’s timed Supersport practice session, looked in very impressive form.

Placing’s sixth, seventh on the timing screens were clinched by the Quattro Plant Wicked Coatings Kawasaki duo of James Hillier (4.30.451), and reigning feature NW200 race champion Glenn Irwin (4.30.458).

It’s fair to say when interviewed during qualifying by the BBC Sport Northern Ireland team, the three times event victor didn’t sound majorly upbeat about his ZX-10RR Kawasaki steed.

Still as with an aforementioned fellow countryman, discount the supremely talented Irwin at your peril, from turning it around, and been a prime contender again for Superbike spoils on Saturday.

Completing the ten quickest Superbike competitors from today’s action were Honda Racing’s Ian Hutchinson (4.30.613), RC213V-S Honda mounted Michael Rutter (4.31.298) and Manxman Conor Cummins (4.31.326).

Outside of the top ten in Q1, others to quietly impress included leading newcomer Buildbase Suzuki’s Richard Cooper (4.39.109), who outpaced John McGuinness and the works Norton, although we should point out that the 23 times TT winner completed only three laps in today’s qualifying session.

North West 200: Superbike Q1 results, are as follows:

1 Dean Harrison 4.26.413
2 Michael Dunlop 4.26.944
3 Alastair Seeley 4.28.050
4 Lee Johnston 4.29.399
5 Peter Hickman 4.30.021
6 James Hillier 4.30.451
7 Glenn Irwin 4.30.458
8 Ian Hutchinson 4.30.613
9 Michael Rutter 4.31.298
10 Conor Cummins 4.31.326
11 David Johnson 4.32.082
12 Davey Todd 4.34.723
13 Daley Mathison 4.37.288
14 Paul Jordan 4.37.667
15 Jamie Coward 4.38.353
16 Gary Johnson 4.38.741
17 Horst Saiger 4.38.871
18 Richard Cooper 4.39.109
19 Michael Sweeney 4.40.671
20 John McGuinness 4.41.588
21 Dominic Herbertson 4.41.607
22 Craig Neve 4.42.709
23 Darryl Tweed 4.47.017
24 Lukas Maurer 4.48.422
25 Tom Weeden 4.52.069
26 Xavier Denis 4.52.193
27 Paul Williams 4.52.328
28 Chris Green 4.53.550
29 Matt Rees 4.53.845
30 Steven Horne 4.54.996
31 Bruce Birnie 4.55.757
32 James Chawke 4.55.853
33 Donald MacFadyen 4.58.597
34 Vassilios Takos 4.59.259
35 Mark Goodings 4.59.906
36 Marty Lennon 5.00.178
37 Erno Kostamo 5.06.218
38 Stephen Degnan 5.06.532
39 Derek Sheils 5.07.681
40 Toni Rechberger 5.11.136
41 Paul Gartland 5.11.790
42 Andy Sellars 5.12.116
43 Paul Mackey 5.13.798
44 Patricia Fernandez 5.17.497

Words by Stevie Rial