ULSTER GP: Michael Dunlop dominates opening practice at Dundrod
Michael Dunlop set out his stall as the Ballymoney man dominated the first day of practice at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix, claiming provisional pole in the Superbike, Superstock and Supersport classes.
In wet and miserable conditions at Dundrod, Dunlop clocked the fastest lap overall on his Hawk Racing BMW at 121.602mph to lead the combined Superbike and Superstock session from the impressive Derek Sheils, who lapped at 120.913mph on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki. Dublin man Sheils earlier went quickest during practice for Thursday’s Dundrod 150 Superbike race.
Jamie Coward, who has replaced the injury-hit Alan Bonner on the Devitt RC Express Kawasaki, was third fastest overall at 119.803mph followed by Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) and William Dunlop on the MMB Yamaha R1, who was 3.7 seconds back on his younger brother after a lap of 119.536mph.
Peter Hickman on the GBmoto Kawasaki and Manx rider Dan Kneen (Mar-Train Yamaha) were the top eight. Bruce Anstey, riding the Valvoline Padgetts RC213V-S MotoGP replica, was ninth fastest at 118.943mph.
Dunlop’s lap of 121.533mph on his MD Racing BMW was also the leading Superstock mark.
Earlier, the 13-time Isle of Man TT winner clocked a lap of 117.782mph on his MD Racing Yamaha to set the pace in the Supersport class, leaving it late before knocking Bruce Anstey off the top spot.
Kiwi Anstey was close behind in second place on the Valvoline Padgetts Honda at 117.115mph with Mullingar rider Derek McGee third fastest on the NJ Doyne Yamaha. Mar-Train Racing’s Kneen was fourth fastest ahead of Harrison and William Dunlop.