Tyco BMW’s Alastair Seeley was almost on lap record pace at the Vauxhall International North West 200 as the Northern Ireland rider secured pole position in the Superstock class.
In dry and sunny conditions on the north coast, Seeley lapped at 120.196mph to edge out Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop by 0.7 seconds.
Dunlop, riding his MD Racing Yamaha R1, clocked a flying late lap of 119.861mph to close the gap to Seeley, who enters the first Superstock race on Thursday evening as the slight favourite on the S1000RR.
Seeley’s pole time was only 1mph off the class lap record held by Austrian Horst Saiger, who was fifth fastest on his Kawasaki behind Fermanagh’s Lee Johnston on the ECC/Burdens BMW and Yeovil’s Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW).
Dean Harrison completed the top six on the Mar-Train Yamaha R1 followed by William Dunlop (Tyco BMW), who missed the end of the session after stopping with a mechanical problem.
Guy Martin on another Tyco BMW was eighth with the top ten rounded out by 13-times winner Michael Rutter and Bruce Anstey (Padgetts Honda).
In the Supertwins class, Ryan Farquhar had the upper hand on his SGS/KMR Kawasaki to take pole with a lap of 106.539mph.
Farquhar, who won the Supertwins race at the North West 200 in 2012, was 1.7 seconds ahead of Martin Jessop on the VRS Kawasaki, 1.7 seconds behind, with James Hillier (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) in third.
Jeremy McWilliams was fourth fastest (SGS/KMR Kawasaki) with Jamie Hamilton from Ballyclare and newcomer Glenn Irwin the first six.
Michael Dunlop, who won the Supertwins race at the Cookstown 100 in April, was seventh on the McAdoo Kawasaki.
The session was red-flagged when James Cowton came off, suffering a dislocated shoulder.