PETER Hickman scorched to the top of the timesheets today and clocked the fastest time overall on his Superstock machine as the North West 200 got underway.
The Smith’s Racing BMW man clocked a 4:25.891, the quickest lap of the day, during the final Superstock qualifying session and beat Superbike class leader Dean Harrison’s time by over half a second.
Harrison had set the fastest Superbike lap of the day aboard his Silicone Engineering Racing Kawasaki, a 4:26.413, while Tyco BMW’s Michael Dunlop ended the day a half second further back and ahead of third-placed Be Wiser Ducati man Alastair Seeley.
But Seeley, who was out on the EHA Racing Yamaha in the Supersport class, set the 600 pace after clockcing a 4:37.073, beating Ashcourt Racing’s Lee Johnston by just under two tenths of a second.
Quattro Kawasaki’s James Hillier ended the day third in Supersport, 1.1sec behind Seeley, while MD Racing ace Dunlop finished fourth just ahead of Harrison.
But it was surprise for reigning NW200 and Superbike winner Glenn Irwin who, after a difficult show in BSB at Oulton Park last weekend, only managed to clock the seventh fastest time.
Hickman made up for his fifth place spot in the Superbike class by posting the quickest time in the Superstock session, which would eventually be the fastest lap of the day overall.
Jamie Coward topped the table in the Supertwins class ahead of 14-time NW race winner Michael Rutter and Christian Elkin, while Irwin was fourth ahead of former Grand Prix rider Jeremy McWilliams.
*Images: Derek Wilson