Belfast Telegraph

Dean Harrison leads the way at North West 200 first practice session

2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 competitor Dean Harrison (Silicone Kawasaki) goes close to the kerbs during the opening Superbike practice session today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 competitor Dean Harrison (Silicone Kawasaki) goes close to the kerbs during the opening Superbike practice session today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
Dean Harrison at Black Hill during today's superbike practice session at the Fona Cab International NW200 in Co Antrim (David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 competitor Glenn Irwin (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) before the opening Superbike practice session today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 competitor John McGuinness (Norton) before the opening Superbike practice session today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
Michael Dunlop (MD Racing BMW) in today's practice session (Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker Press)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils competitor Horst Saiger (Saiger Yamaha) before the start of the opening Supersport practice session today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils Event Director, Mervyn Whyte and Clerk of the Course, Stanleigh Murray before the opening session of practice today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils competitors Alastair Seeley (EHA Yamaha) before the start of the opening Supersport practice session today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils competitor Dean Harrison (Silicone Kawasaki) before the start of the opening Supersport practice session today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils competitors David Johnson and Ian Hutchinson open the Honda Racing CBR600RRs await the start of the opening Supersport practice session today (Pic: Steven Davison)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 competitor Alastair Seeley (PBM/Be Wiser Ducati) with team boss Paul Bird before the opening Superbike practice session today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils competitor Lee Johnson (Ashcourt Racing Yamaha) before the start of the opening Supersport practice session today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils competitor James Hillier (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) grabs a drink before the start of the opening Supersport practice session today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils competitor Davey Todd (Milenco Padgett's Honda) before the start of the opening Supersport practice session today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils competitor Christian Elkin before the start of the opening Supersport practice session today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils US newcomer Patricia Fernandez (Magic Bullet Yamaha) before the opening session of practice today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils competitor Conor Cummins (Milenco Padgett's Honda) before the opening Supersport practice session today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils competitors Alastair Seeley (EHA Yamaha), James Hillier (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) and Lee Johnston (Ashcourt Racing Yamaha) await the start of the opening Supersport practice session today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils competitor Ian Hutchinson (Honda Racing) chats with Clive Padgett before the start of the opening Supersport practice session today (Pic: Stephen Davison)
2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils newcomer Richard Cooper (Bennetts Buildbase Suzuki) gets some last minute words of advice from Rider Liaison officer Steve Plater before the opening session of practice today (Pic: Stephen Davison)

Dean Harrison edged out Michael Dunlop to finish top of the standings after the first Superbike practice at the North West 200.

The Englishman crossed the line in 4:26.413 on his Kawasaki, half a second faster than Dunlop (BMW) in second and 1.637 seconds faster than Alastair Seeley (Ducati) in third.

Harrison's best finish at the North West was his second-placed finish last year, however he's set the pace this time around and is looking good at the top.

The event's most successful rider, Seeley, did have plenty of consolation as he finished fastest in the Supersport practice to start the day, clocking a time of 4:37.073.

The Northern Irishman formed a Yamaha one-two, with Lee Johnston just .182 of a second behind him, while James Hillier on the Kawasaki was third, 1.113 seconds further back.

Seeley's lap averaged 116.55mph, with Johnston hitting 116.47mph behind him.

In the Superstock practice, last year's winner Peter Hickman took top honours with a 4:25.891 lap time as BMWs dominated the final standings.

The top three riders, Hickman, Johnston (+1.437s) and Dunlop (+1.499s) were all aboard BMWs, who appear to have the edge in the class going into Thursday's first race.

And in the Supertwins category it was West Yorkshire's Jamie Coward who led the field with a lap time of 4:57.829 as the Kawasaki riders showed the early pace.

The top-five finishers were all aboard Kawasakis as Coward hit an average lap time of 108.42mph and was followed in by Michael Rutter (+0.2s) and Christian Elkin (+1.102s).

Check out our gallery of the best pics from day one of practice by clicking the main image above!

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