Road Racing News

North West 200: Tuesday Qualifying Wrap Up

The mighty, ultra powerful Superbikes first qualifying session at the 2018 Vauxhall International North West 200, saw a host of the world’s best road racers impress in extremely tricky conditions around the Triangle, described by Glenn Irwin as been ‘So greasy’.

Kicking off his maiden works Honda international roads stint in top class fashion, six times international road race winner Lee Johnston early lap time in the session of 4 minute 36.708 seconds, was more than enough to surge to the top spot on the time sheets.

Michael Dunlop’s first NW200 venture with Tyco BMW, began in productive style by finishing second quickest, his lap time of 4 minute 39.398 seconds placing him just over 2.5 seconds behind Honda Racing’s Johnston.

Photo by Rod Neill

McAdoo Kawasaki’s James Cowton (4.44.106) it’s fair to say sprung a surprise by finishing third fastest, in front of star names such as Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin (4.44.632).

Closely matched finishing fifth and sixth on the time sheets were James Hillier (4.45.954) and Conor Cummins (4.46.374), William Dunlop aboard the Temple Golf Club Racing YZF R1M Yamaha was seventh quickest, whilst the very much on form Derek McGee (4.48.289) impressed in finishing eighth fastest.

Martin Jessopp (4.49.264), Dan Kneen (4.50.301) concluded the ten quickest racers in an opening Superbike qualifying session which also saw Ian Hutchinson finish a respectable 12th fastest, plus newcomer Davey Todd outpace NW200 legend Michael Rutter.

As has been widely announced already, opening Superbike qualifying didn’t run to full distance following an incident at University Corner, which led to the session been red flagged. Road Racing News wishes a very speedy recovery to the rider involved in the incident.

Overall it’s been a challenging, tough and largely frustrating day for competitors on day one of the 2018 Vauxhall International North West 200.

The race organisers have to be applauded though, for making sure racers across all classes gained track time on their respective machines, in spite of the inconsistent conditions ahead of Thursday’s qualifying sessions which hopefully will be graced by first class weather!

Results from Superbike Q1, are as follows:

1 Lee Johnston 4.36.708
2 Michael Dunlop 4.39.398
3 James Cowton 4.44.106
4 Glenn Irwin 4.44.632
5 James Hillier 4.45.954
6 Conor Cummins 4.46.374
7 William Dunlop 4.47.741
8 Derek McGee 4.48.289
9 Martin Jessopp 4.49.264
10 Dan Kneen 4.50.301
11 David Johnson 4.50.997
12 Ian Hutchinson 4.52.303
13 Johan Fredriks 4.55.604
14 Davey Todd 4.58.248
15 Michael Rutter 4.58.604
16 Adrian Clark 5.02.492
17 Seamus Elliott 5.03.185
18 Forest Dunn 5.03.445
19 Nadieh Schoots 5.05.078
20 Darren Cooper 5.06.957
21 Raul Torras Martinez 5.08.719
22 Joey Den Besten 5.10.816
23 Mark Goodings 5.13.285
24 Mike Norbury 5.13.809
25 Toni Rechberger 5.17.959
26 Dominic Herbertson 5.18.748
27 Donald MacFadyen 5.19.360
28 Andy Sellars 5.23.564
29 Stephen Degnan 5.34.893
30 Jean Pierre Polet 5.45.109

Words by Stevie Rial

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