On fire Peter Hickman secured pole position for Saturday’s MCE Ulster Grand Prix Superstock race having lapped the Dundrod circuit at 132.334mph on Thursday morning. Quickest in the first session on Wednesday, the Smiths Racing BMW rider improved his time by almost a second to get the better of Dean Harrison and Dan Kneen.
Harrison led the session initially on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki with a lap of 129.640mph but with 15 minutes gone, Hickman moved to the top of the timesheets with a speed of 131.736mph. Next time around, he went quicker still with the first 132mph lap of the session and although Harrison, who had dropped back to fifth at one stage, responded, he fell 0.149s short with his final lap of 132.237mph placing him a close second.
That pushed back Jamie Coward (Radcliffe Racing BMW) to third, the Yorkshireman having lapped at 130.425mph midway through the session but just when it looked like he’d take the final front row position, Dan Kneen put in a late lap of 130.732mph on the Tyco BMW to relegate him to fourth.
The majority of the riders were all able to improve their times from Wednesday and joining Coward on the second row will be David Johnson (Fleetwood Grab Services BMW) and Derek Sheils (Cookstown BE Racing Suzuki), the final two riders to break the 130mph barrier.
The returning Lee Johnston (East Coast Construction BMW) ended seventh quickest just ahead of Michael Dunlop (MD Racing Suzuki) who put in a late lap of 129.005mph although this was over five seconds behind Hickman’s pole time.
Conor Cummins (Padgetts Honda) and Derek McGee (McGee Racing Kawasaki) complete the top ten, the latter the only rider in the top ten to have set his best time on Wednesday.