Belfast Telegraph

131mph speed king is the Guy to catch at Dundrod 150

By Roy Harris

The scene is set for a blistering Ulster Grand Prix on Saturday and Dundrod 150 today. Guy Martin, 14 times a winner around the Dundrod Circuit was fastest in yesterday’s first Superbike qualifying session for Saturday’s Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix when he lapped at 131.753mph three-quarters of a second ahead of main rival Michael Dunlop whose speed was 131.254mph with Kiwi Bruce Anstey third fastest at 131.112mph and William Dunlop fourth on 130.555mph.

Torrential rain had delayed the start of practice yesterday for an hour and a half, but once the rain had abated and the track dried, the high speed action saw the same four riders on the front row of the grid for this afternoon’s Dundrod 150 although in slightly different order.

Tyco Suzuki’s Martin, who has won this particular race three times, is on pole at 130.158mph, two tenths faster than circuit lap record holder Bruce Anstey (Valvoline Padgetts Honda) on 130.062mph with William Dunlop (Tyco Suzuki) eight tenths of a second back in third on 129.589mph with younger brother Michael (BMW Motorrad) eight one hundredths behind on 129.537mph with William fastest through the speed trap at a staggering 191mph.

The top six is completed by Lee Johnston and Stephen Thompson three seconds back of the Dunlops with circuit debutant Peter Hickman setting a terrific speed of 126.328mph in eighth place, sandwiched between Dean Harrison and Ian Hutchinson.

Superstock saw Michael Dunlop top of the time sheets at 129.340mph, a tenth of a second ahead of impressive newcomer Hickman on129.248 with Anstey (128.715) third, Martin (128.708) fourth and Stephen Thompson (128.130) fifth.

In the first Ulster Grand Prix Supersport qualifying session, half a second separated the top four with William Dunlop fastest by a mere one hundredth of a second from Michael (126.578 to 126.569mph), Anstey and Lee Johnston third and fourth.

Three and a half seconds covered the top six in Supertwin practice with Scot Keith Amor fastest with a lap of 116.340mph, six tenths faster than Ivan Lintin while Glenn Irwin, taking over the injured Jamie Hamilton’s ride, on his road race debut was a sensational third fastest with a speed of 115.682mph.

Earlier on a drying track, Dundrod 150 Challenge and National qualifying was headed by Hickman, the fastest newcomer back at the TT in June, who quickly got to grips with the 7.4mile Dundrod circuit, setting a speed of 120.818mph, almost seven seconds clear of the field headed by another newcomer, Phillip Crowe, with local rider Robert Kennedy a further two seconds back in third.

Ex-Grand Prix competitor Danny Webb was seventh fastest with a speed of 114.291mph while British Supersport competitor Glenn Irwin was 18th fastest at 110.650mph on the VRS 650cc Kawasaki.

In the opening half hour timed session for Ultra-Lightweight and Lightweight machines, Neil Kernohan (250cc Honda) set the fastest speed of 104.032mph before slipping off uninjured at the hairpin on his final lap.

Almost eight seconds behind Kernohan came Joseph Loughlin while the fastest Ultra-Lightweight machine was the 250cc Moto3 Honda of Christian Elkin.

Ulster Grand Prix qualifying continues this morning with roads closing at 9.30am ahead of five sessions while the Dundrod 150 programme of races are scheduled for this afternoon commencing at 2.30pm approx.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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