A superpole qualifying session, is set to be introduced into the world’s fastest road race, the Ulster Grand Prix.
The twelve fastest riders from the superbike practice session on Thursday the 11th of August, will return to competition around Dundrod later in the day, as they battle for pole position for both superbike races.
Non qualifiers for the superpole session, will start the superbike races, from 13th place onwards.
Photo by Rod Neill
Based on superbike qualifying times from last year, lap speed in excess of 129 mph, would guarantee a position in the superpole showdown.
Commenting on the exciting shake up for superbike qualifying, Ulster Grand Prix Clerk of the Course, Noel Johnston said:
“I’ve wanted to introduce a Superpole session at the Ulster for a while and now that we’ve reshuffled our practice timings we are able to accommodate it.
The session will consist of one individual warm up lap immediately followed by two individual laps for each of the top 12 Superbike riders, allowing them an opportunity to secure their eventual grid position on a fair basis.”
Adding about what’s anticipated to be a quite thrilling spectacle, Noel said:
“It’s an added bonus for the spectators too, as each rider will attempt their fastest lap on a clear track, without obstacles or direct competition.
It’s a format that was used in World Superbikes for many years and something BSB have also introduced for 2016, and it’s always proven extremely popular.
It’s a bit of a shake up for us but I believe it will be extremely well received for the roads, and we’re looking forward to what will surely be an electric qualifier.
The thought of watching Michael Dunlop, Ian Hutchinson, hopefully Guy Martin and some of the other big names out on track, on their own, pushing the bikes on a flying lap is a spectacle not to be missed.”
Words by Stevie Rial