Live updates from Tuesday practice at the North West 200 - Peter Hickman sets fastest lap overall on Smiths BMW
Peter Hickman posted the fastest lap of the day overall in the glorious sunshine at the North West 200 to seal provisional pole in the Superstock class.
A winner last year on the Smiths BMW, the Burton-on-Trent man clocked 121.448mph in the final session around the 8.9-mile course on his S1000RR.
Lee Johnston was 1.4s behind in second on his Ashcourt BMW (120.795mph), with Michael Dunlop climbing to third with his final lap on his MD Racing BMW (120.427mph).
Dean Harrison set the early pace in the Superbike class on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki at the North West 200 on Tuesday.
The Bradford man lapped at 121.21mph to lead the way from Michael Dunlop, who was only half-a-second down on his Tyco BMW following a best lap of 120.969mph.
Alastair Seeley was third quickest on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati, 1.6s down on Harrison, with Lee Johnston in a solid fourth on his Ashcourt Racing BMW.
Peter Hickman (Smiths BMW) and James Hillier (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) completed the top six, while last year’s double Superbike winner Glenn Irwin was seventh overall, four seconds off Harrison’s pace.
Michael Rutter was ninth fastest on the Honda RCV behind Honda Racing rider Ian Hutchinson.
John McGuinness was down the order on the Norton in 20th position, although the Morecambe man only managed three laps.
James Hillier (Quattro Plant/Wicked Coatings Kawasaki), Michael Rutter (Bathams BMW) and Glenn Irwin (Quattro Plant/Wicked Coatings Kawasaki) finalised the first six.
Twelve-time North West 200 Supersport winner Seeley topped the times in the class on the EHA Racing Yamaha.
Seeley left it late to take over at the summit with a lap of 4m 37.073s, which put him 0.182s ahead of Lee Johnston on the Ashcourt Racing Yamaha.
James Hillier was third fastest (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) followed by Michael Dunlop on his MD Racing Honda, who was 1.6 seconds down on Seeley.
Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) and Peter Hickman (Trooper Beer Triumph) were the top six.
Magherafelt’s Paul Jordan was seventh fastest on the Logan Racing Yamaha ahead of Davey Todd (Milenco by Padgett’s Honda).
In the Supertwin session, Jamie Coward was the surprise package as he led the way on the KTS Kawasaki by only 0.2s from Michael Rutter (Bathams/KMR Kawasaki).
Christian Elkin was third, 1.1s adrift, while Glenn Irwin was fourth after only completing four laps.
KMR Kawasaki riders Jeremy McWilliams and Derek McGee only managed three laps before they were forced out with apparent issues. However, McWilliams still managed the fifth fastest time with McGee in seventh behind Italian rider Stefano Bonetti.
The newcomers session was held first, with top British championship rider Richard Cooper having his first taste of action on the roads on the Buildbase Suzuki.
Cooper has made an excellent start to the National Superstock 1000 Championship and will compete in the Superbike and Superstock classes.
The 35-year-old said: “Now we’re here the excitement and anticipation has gone up a notch, but it hasn’t changed our approach. I have come here with some aims in my mind – I think any rider goes to a new event or to compete somewhere new with a bit of an idea of what they can do, what they can achieve, and where they want to be – but the main one is to learn and improve as the week goes on.
“I know I’ve got a good team around me and a team that is vastly experienced on the roads, and if I work hard and come away with strong performances I’ll be happy.
“As far as road race debuts go, there aren’t many bigger events to do it than the North West 200. I’d been looking to take this step for a couple of years to be honest and I was only going to do it when everything came together. But the plan was always to come here; it’s a great event, great fans, a really strong field. I’m excited to get going, but we’ll be taking it step-by-step.”
Lisburn’s Carl Phillips will also make his debut at the North West as he prepares for the Supertwin races on the ILR/Mark Coverdale Paton.
Phillips was 10th fastest in the Supertwin session on Tuesday.
Stay tuned for live updates!