Alastair Seeley made it three pole positions from three at the North West 200 on Thursday afternoon when he claimed the top spot in the Superbike class with a lap of 4’20.634s on the Milwaukee BMW.
That was some two seconds quicker than Michael Dunlop’s lap from Tuesday and the Hawk Racing Honda rider failed to go quicker in today’s session, which was cut from an hour to 35 minutes due to the earlier stoppage in the Supersport session.
Indeed, the Superbikes themselves only got 25 minutes in the end as a rider slipped off on the exit from Metropole, fortunately without injury, with ten minutes to go and with roads having to open at 3pm, it brought the session to an early end.
Dunlop was one of the few riders who failed to go quicker today and he’ll start Saturday’s races from third as outright lap record holder Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) slotted into second after a lap of 4’22.449s, which was 1.815s slower than Seeley.
Dean Harrison (DAO Racing Kawasaki) moved up from sixth to fourth with the second row being completed by Davey Todd (Milenco by Padgetts Honda) and Josh Brookes on the second FHO machine. He’d failed to qualify on Tuesday but put in the required five laps today to bring himself back into contention.
Six-time winner Glenn Irwin improved his lap time on the BeerMonster Ducati by more than six seconds but had to settle for seventh after his air-bag went off mid-way through the session and the top ten was completed by Conor Cummins (Milenco by Padgetts Honda), Mike Browne (Burrows by RK Racing BMW) and John McGuinness (Honda Racing).
James Hillier, Michael Rutter, Nathan Harrison, Michael Sweeney and German newcomer David Datzer will line up in 11th-15th for Saturday’s two races.