Practice got underway yesterday evening for this afternoon’s Dundrod 150 races and Saturday’s Stoneyford Concrete Ulster Grand without Aussie Cameron Donald who was forced to withdraw at the last minute having not fully recovered from the shoulder injury received in his Isle of Man TT practice crash back in June.
Four riders topped the 130mph mark in first qualifying for the UGP superbike races with Bruce Anstey recording a time of 130.537mph ahead of Guy Martin (130.409), Keith Amor (130.123) and Conor Cummins (130.048).
However it was Manxman Cummins riding the McAdoo Kawasaki who will start from pole position for this afternoon’s Dundrod 150 superbike race after recording the fastest speed in yesterday's qualifying session for this particular race.
Cummins lapped at a speed of 128.852mph to secure pole four-tenths of a second faster than Guy Martin while the front row will be completed by Ian Lougher and Adrian Archibald less than a second covering the top four.
Cummins commented: “The McAdoo Team have given me a terrific machine and I’m delighted to be on pole. However that was only practice, it is the race that counts and there are quite a few guys snapping at my heels. I’ll give it my best shot to try for the win.”
Ryan Farquhar heads the second row on his superstock Kawasaki with the lone Relentless Suzuki by TAS of Bruce Anstey, Gary Johnson, and Keith Amor rounding out the top eight.
In the first UGP supersport 600cc qualifying session, William Dunlop unofficially broke the lap record with a speed of 126.191mph to become the first supersport rider to lap Dundrod at over 126mph.
In a local one-two Farquhar was in second position 1.3secs slower.
Dunlop also topped the first 250cc session some six seconds faster than brother Michael.
All the action in the 125cc class was in the final minutes of their 30 minute session with ‘Welsh Wizard’ Ian Lougher topping the timesheet with a speed of 108.510mph, just 1.6secs faster than William Dunlop who lapped at 107.801mph, three seconds faster than brother Michael who set a speed of 106.444mph. Completing the front row will be Nigel Moore on 105.554mph.
In the concurrently run Lightweight Supersport session, Ryan Farquhar dominated with a speed of 113.287mph some 5mph faster than the rest.
Superstock saw Farquhar head the field ahead of Amor and Hutchinson.
Practice continues this morning; roads closing 10am with the Dundrod 150 race programme scheduled to start at 2pm.