North West 200: Irwin Edges Harrison, Dunlop In Thrilling Superbike Qualifying Duel

North West 200: Irwin Edges Harrison, Dunlop In Thrilling Superbike Qualifying Duel

After a few delays due to oil spillages around the Triangle course, the action in today’s NW200 Superbike qualifying session, was nothing short of pulsating.

Emerging on top in qualifying by only 0.066 of a second was Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin (4.23.708), who just had enough pace to edge out Silicone Engineering Racing’s Dean Harrison (4.23.774), who it’s fair to say caught many by surprise with his speed in qualifying.

Photo by Rod Neill

Michael Dunlop (4.23.802) was only a further 0.028 behind reigning Duke Road Race Rankings champion Harrison, whilst Tyco BMW team mate, early Superbike Q2 pace setter Alastair Seeley had to settle for fourth on the time sheets.

Bathams SMT Racing’s Michael Rutter (4.24.583) fifth fastest, closely followed Seeley, whilst Riders Motorcycles Martin Jessopp (4.25.650) also showed accomplished pace.

Smiths Racing’s Peter Hickman (4.26.170) was seventh fastest, as just over 0.3 of a second covered eighth and ninth quickest, Temple Golf Club Yamaha’s William Dunlop (4.27.163) and Padgetts Racing’s Conor Cummins (4.27.405).

Concluding the ten fastest qualifiers was provisional pole sitter from Superbike Q1, Honda Racing’s Lee Johnston (4.28.384).

Honda Racing team mate Ian Hutchinson, still chipping away with his race fitness qualified a very respectable 13th in front of fellow international roads giants such as Tyco BMW’s Dan Kneen and fellow multi TT winner Gary Johnson.

As in Superstock qualifying, Davey Todd 17th quickest headed the newcomers challenge, whilst others to impress included Bob Henderson Racing’s Dominic Herbertson and seasoned NW200 competitor from Scotland Bruce Birnie, respectively finishing 20th and 22nd fastest.

Superbike Q2 results:

1 Glenn Irwin 4.23.708
2 Dean Harrison 4.23.774
3 Michael Dunlop 4.23.802
4 Alastair Seeley 4.24.521
5 Michael Rutter 4.24.583
6 Martin Jessopp 4.25.650
7 Peter Hickman 4.26.170
8 William Dunlop 4.27.163
9 Conor Cummins 4.27.405
10 Lee Johnston 4.28.384
11 James Hillier 4.29.082
12 David Johnson 4.30.853
13 Ian Hutchinson 4.31.200
14 Gary Johnson 4.31.685
15 Dan Kneen 4.31.976
16 Sam West 4.33.770
17 Davey Todd 4.35.016
18 Dan Cooper 4.35.122
19 James Cowton 4.39.246
20 Dominic Herbertson 4.39.340
21 Craig Neve 4.40.173
22 Bruce Birnie 4.42.609
23 Kris Duncan 4.45.222
24 Adrian Clark 4.45.244
25 Laurent Hoffmann 4.46.276
26 Xavier Denis 4.46.719
27 Raul Torras Martinez 4.47.055
28 Forest Dunn 4.47.371
29 Darren Cooper 4.47.584
30 Seamus Elliott 4.47.715
31 Mike Norbury 4.49.063
32 Joey Den Besten 4.49.316
33 Donald MacFadyen 4.52.052
34 Nadieh Schoots 4.52.354
35 Paul Williams 4.53.016
36 Sam Johnson 4.53.248
37 Marty Lennon 4.54.765

Words by Stevie Rial

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