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Martin Jessopp clocked at 208mph on Ducati at North West 200

'It felt like my arms were going to come out of my shoulders but I think I could've gone even faster' - Martin Jessopp
World Supersport rider Martin Jessopp pulverised the top speed record at the Relentless International North West 200 with a phenomenal 208mph blast through the timing beam, but it was Ulster hero Alastair Seeley who set the pace in the opening Superbike qualifying session.

Jessopp, who is back on the Riders Ducati he used at the North West 200 last year and rode in the British Superbike Championship prior to his switch to World Supersport, cracked Scotsman Stuart Easton's previous best speed of 204mph set on the Swan Honda Fireblade in 2010.

However, he had to settle for the fifth fastest time overall, with Tyco Suzuki's Seeley living up to his favourite tag by securing provisional pole in the opening practice session on his BSB-spec GSX-R1000.

Seeley's best lap of 120.68mph for the 8.9-mile circuit on Northern Ireland's North Coast put him ahead of Honda TT Legends ace John McGuinness (119.23mph), with over three seconds between the pair.

William Dunlop was third quickest on Wilson Craig's Honda (118.43mph) as two Ulster riders filled the top three positions, with Guy Martin next at 117.91mph and record-breaker Jessopp fifth (117.61mph).

Swan Yamaha's Ian Hutchinson was an incredible sixth fastest on his road racing return, lapping at 117.56mph and also managing a top speed of 202.5mph on the YZF-R1.

Michael Dunlop on the Hunts Motorcycles/McAdoo Honda rounded out the leading seven with an average speed of 117.54mph.

Jessopp, who lit up the first practice session with that phenomenal 208mph top speed on the run down the long straight from the ferociously fast Station Corner to University, may have been aided by a tail wind, but nonetheless his name has gone into the North West 200 history books.

“It was a bit of an eye-opener travelling at that speed,” Jessopp said. “It felt like my arms were going to come out of my shoulders but I think I could've gone even faster.

“I was out on my own when I did it and if I'd have a slipstream from someone it could have been faster.

“It's nice to have the fastest speed but that's not what we're here for and we're not on the front row yet, so we've still got work to do,” added Jessopp, who is competing on the Riders PTR Honda in the World Supersport class this year.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Martin Jessopp, Riders Bathams Ducati, 2011 North West 200
Action from the 2015 North West 200.
John McGuinness on the Winfield Paton at the Classic TT
Tyco BMW`s Guy Martin
Tyco BMW`s Guy Martin
Guy Martin on the Tyco BMW at the Ulster Grand Prix
John McGuinness and Ryan Farquhar will again compete at the Classic TT on Paton machinery for Roger Winfield
Michael Dunlop won the feature Superbilke race the Armoy Road Races from Guy Martin and Dean Harrison
Guy Martin celebrates winning the Solo Championship race with Dan Kneen andIvan Lintin
Guy Martin at the Southern 100
Guy Martin, BMW, [Credit: BMW]
Guy Martin, Michael Dunlop and Dean Harrison on the Senior Race podium at the Southern 100
Guy Martin leads Michael Dunlop at the Southern 100
Guy Martin on the Tyco BMW at the Southern 100
Guy Martin on the Tyco BMW at the Southern 100
Guy Martin on the Tyco BMW in the Senior TT
John McGuinness celebrates his Senior TT victory with runner-up James Hillier and Ian Hutchinson
Guy Martin on the Smiths Triumph at the Isle of Man TT

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