Road Racing News

North West 200: Thursday Qualifying Round Up

Super Twins:

The second timed Super Twins practice session of the 2018 Vauxhall International North West 200, saw a battle royal for pole position between Riders Motorcycles Martin Jessopp and next gen roads star Adam McLean.

Roy Hanna Motors backed McLean headed the time sheets throughout, prior to Yeovil’s Jessopp beginning a late qualifying charge, steadily chipping away at the Tobermore racer’s advantage.

Within the last minutes of the session, Jessopp dramatically secured pole position lapping at 4 minutes 56.536 seconds to finish just 0.038 of a second in front of McLean.

Third fastest, McAdoo Kawasaki’s James Cowton (4.57.716) wasn’t to far off the pace, whilst York’s Joe Thompson (4.59.178) aboard the factory backed Team ILR Paton, it’s fair to say surprised many by qualifying a fine fourth.

Next up on the time sheets was the KMR Kawasaki duo of Derek McGee (5.00.337) and Jeremy McWilliams (5.00.927), who were both over four seconds clear of seventh quickest Christian Elkin.

The top ten in a qualifying session filled with top draw performances was concluded by Optimark Road Racing’s Xavier Denis, the on form Michael Sweeney and 2017 Super Twins Manx GP winner Darren Cooper.

Others to impress outside the ten fastest qualifiers included leading newcomers New Zealand’s Daniel Mettam and Jonathan Perry, respectively 13th and 14th quickest.

Super Twins Q2 results:

1 Martin Jessopp 4.56.536
2 Adam McLean 4.56.574
3 James Cowton 4.57.716
4 Joe Thompson 4.59.178
5 Derek McGee 5.00.337
6 Jeremy McWilliams 5.00.927
7 Christian Elkin 5.05.774
8 Xavier Denis 5.09.753
9 Michael Sweeney 5.11.157
10 Darren Cooper 5.13.491
11 Denver Robb 5.13.856
12 Victor Lopez Santos 5.14.026
13 Daniel Mettam 5.15.596
14 Jonathan Perry 5.16.938
15 Marty Lennon 5.17.188
16 Kris Duncan 5.19.403
17 Seamus Elliott 5.19.832
18 Matt Sadowski 5.20.547
19 Neil Kernohan 5.22.266
20 Steven Horne 5.24.602
21 Bruce Birnie 5.24.735
22 Jamie Williams 5.28.381
23 Robert McCrum 5.32.968
24 Rikki McGovern 5.41.558

Superstock:

Showing yet more wizardry around the Triangle, Tyco BMW’s Alastair Seeley (4.26.061) powered to Superstock pole, finishing over two seconds clear of nearest challenger in second qualifying, Silicone Engineering Racing’s Dean Harrison.

Bradford’s Harrison (4.28.140), the only non BMW Motorrad mounted competitor within the top six in qualifying, was under 0.070 of a second clear of third fastest Michael Dunlop (4.28.204), who looked in good form aboard his own teams Carl Cox Motorsport backed S1000RR BMW.

Fourth, fifth and sixth fastest respectively, were the all star trio of Bathams SMT Racing’s Michael Rutter (4.29.051), Dan Kneen (4.29.644) and Smiths Racing’s Peter Hickman (4.30.247).

Seventh quickest James Hillier (4.30.467) as always consistent, strong pace, as did next on the time sheets, Riders Motorcycles Martin Jessopp (4.31.972).

Finalising the ten fastest qualifiers were RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki’s Gary Johnson (4.32.350), Honda Racing’s Lee Johnston (4.32.979).

Davey Todd who qualified a very respectable 18th, firmly lead the newcomers challenge, whilst added notable performances included the three riders finishing 20th, 21st and 22nd quickest, Italy’s Stefano Bonetti, Shirlaws Motorcycles backed Kris Duncan and new BHR (Bob Henderson Racing) signing, Dominic Herbertson.

Superstock Q2 results:

1 Alastair Seeley 4.26.061
2 Dean Harrison 4.28.140
3 Michael Dunlop 4.28.204
4 Michael Rutter 4.29.051
5 Dan Kneen 4.29.644
6 Peter Hickman 4.30.247
7 James Hillier 4.30.467
8 Martin Jessopp 4.31.972
9 Gary Johnson 4.32.350
10 Lee Johnston 4.32.979
11 William Dunlop 4.34.917
12 Derek McGee 4.35.267
13 Michael Sweeney 4.36.349
14 Sam West 4.36.824
15 David Johnson 4.36.974
16 Conor Cummins 4.37.352
17 Dan Cooper 4.38.779
18 Davey Todd 4.39.868
19 James Cowton 4.39.992
20 Stefano Bonetti 4.41.832
21 Kris Duncan 4.44.408
22 Dominic Herbertson 4.44.604
23 Laurent Hoffmann 4.44.957
24 Darren Cooper 4.45.228
25 Ian Hutchinson 4.45.394
26 Craig Neve 4.45.549
27 Seamus Elliott 4.45.687
28 Raul Torras Martinez 4.48.129
29 Xavier Denis 4.48.750
30 Adrian Clark 4.48.863
31 Forest Dunn 4.49.244
32 Bruce Birnie 4.51.244
33 Nadieh Schoots 4.54.212
34 Paul Williams 4.55.589
35 Mike Norbury 4.56.129
36 Chris Green 4.56.505
37 Donald MacFadyen 4.56.768
38 Marty Lennon 4.58.290
39 Sam Johnson 4.58.590
40 Toni Rechberger 5.03.283
41 Jean Pierre Polet 5.10.113
42 Andy Sellars 5.12.466
43 Paul Mackey 5.18.031
44 Stephen Degnan 5.21.006

Supersport:

Looking at one with the EHA Racing Yamaha, Alastair Seeley carried on his middleweight class supremacy at the North West 200, as he secured in dominant fashion, pole position for tonight’s opening Supersport race.

The 21 times North West 200 race winner, quickest lap time of 4 minutes 36.088 seconds, gave him a pace advantage at the end of the session of almost three seconds over an all star chasing pack.

Photo by Rod Neill

Riders Motorcycles Martin Jessopp (4.38.909) won a tight four rider battle for second in qualifying, which saw just 0.310 separate him and close pursuers Dean Harrison (4.39.138), Michael Dunlop (4.39.180) and leading Padgetts racer Lee Johnston (4.39.219).

Temple Golf Club Yamaha’s William Dunlop (4.40.306) qualified sixth, as Adam McLean (4.41.244), Conor Cummins (4.41.296), twice Junior Manx GP champion Michael Sweeney (4.41.421) and Stroud’s Dan Cooper rounded out the ten quickest Supersport qualifiers.

PRL Worthington Racing’s Sam West finished an excellent 12th quickest in front of leading international roads names such as Ian Hutchinson, Dan Kneen and Gary Johnson.

Whilst others to catch the eye included the undoubted standout newcomer thus far of this years North West 200, Davey Todd, who finished 17th fastest.

Supersport Q2 results:

1 Alastair Seeley 4.36.088
2 Martin Jessopp 4.38.909
3 Dean Harrison 4.39.138
4 Michael Dunlop 4.39.180
5 Lee Johnston 4.39.219
6 William Dunlop 4.40.306
7 Adam McLean 4.41.244
8 Conor Cummins 4.41.296
9 Michael Sweeney 4.41.421
10 Dan Cooper 4.44.563
11 James Cowton 4.44.682
12 Sam West 4.45.001
13 Ian Hutchinson 4.45.168
14 Dan Kneen 4.46.014
15 Gary Johnson 4.46.556
16 Joe Thompson 4.46.794
17 Davey Todd 4.46.831
18 Craig Neve 4.47.980
19 Christian Elkin 4.48.089
20 Paul Jordan 4.48.345
21 Laurent Hoffmann 4.49.273
22 Darryl Tweed 4.52.485
23 Darren Cooper 4.52.602
24 Kris Duncan 4.53.242
25 Daniel Mettam 4.53.563
26 Neil Kernohan 4.54.339
27 Pierre Yves Bian 4.55.265
28 Xavier Denis 4.57.045
29 Matthew Rees 4.58.426
30 Mark Goodings 5.00.151
31 Ilja Caljouw 5.01.727
32 Mike Norbury 5.01.958
33 Raul Torras Martinez 5.02.979
34 Frederic Besnard 5.04.197
35 Paul Williams 5.04.255
36 Steven Horne 5.07.168
37 Paul Cranston 5.08.258
38 Jamie Williams 5.11.576
39 Andy Sellars 5.18.206
40 Callum Paterson 5.19.166
41 David Murphy 5.19.336
42 Daniele Giorgini 5.20.855
43 Paul Mackey 5.22.287
44 Ramon Basomba 5.23.031
45 Stephen Degnan 5.23.395
46 Jonathan Perry 9.05.322

Words by Stevie Rial

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