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NW200: William Dunlop has edge in Supersport class

Tyco Suzuki's William Dunlop claimed provisional pole in the Supersport class ahead of Michael Rutter as practice got under way at the North West 200 on Tuesday
Fresh from his victory in the Supersport class at the Tandragee 100, Tyco Suzuki's William Dunlop hit the top of the times in the first practice session at the Vauxhall International North West 200.

The 28-year-old from Ballymoney set the fastest time on Tuesday on the GSX-600 at 114.754mph to take the top spot from the impressive Michael Rutter (114.193mph), who was 1.384s behind on the Smiths Triumph 675.

Dunlop said: “I'm pretty pleased with that for an opening day at the North West. I had every confidence we could be up there on the GSX-R600 Supersport bike but was also looking for a top ride on the Superbike.

"I will take fourth place happily. We had no major problems and with more time on the Superstock bike in a full session we can get well up the grid.”

Rutter, who has 13 victories at the North West 200 to sit joint second with Joey Dunlop in the all-time winners' list, finished ahead of Mar-Train Racing's Alastair Seeley, who lapped at 114.177mph in the dry and sunny conditions to slot into third position.

Lee Johnston on the East Coast Racing/Pirtek Honda was fourth, while Gary Johnson (Smiths Triumph) and Guy Martin (Tyco Suzuki) rounded out the top six.

John McGuinness on the Valvoline Padgett's Honda was next followed by Michael Dunlop on his MD Racing Honda and former World Supersport winner Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha).

Kiwi Bruce Anstey on the second of the Valvoline Padgett's Honda machines completed the top ten.

Scottish rider Keith Amor, making his first appearance at the event since 2010, was 15th on the Rig Deluge Honda, one place ahead of Ian Hutchinson (Milwaukee Yamaha), who was high-sided off his machine at Mill Road Roundabout.

Hutchinson missed the Superbike session but was later reported to walking wounded by team manager Shaun Muir and managed to complete a few laps on his Superbike in the final Superstock session.

Tuesday Supersport order:
1. William Dunlop
2. Michael Rutter
3. Alastair Seeley
4. Lee Johnston
5. Gary Johnston
6. Guy Martin
7. John McGuinness
8. Michael Dunlop
9. Josh Brookes
10. Bruce Anstey
11. Dan Cooper
12. Derek Sheils
13. James Hillier
14. Dean Harrison
15. Keith Amor
16. Ian Hutchinson
17. Connor Behan
18. Stephen Thompson
19. Horst Saiger
20. Dan Kneen

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
William Dunlop
Action from the 2016 North West 200
Bruce Anstey won the Lightweight race at the Classic TT on the Padgetts Honda RS250.
John McGuinness on the Winfield Paton at the Classic TT.
Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts RS250 Honda at the Classic TT.
Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts RS250 Honda at the Classic TT.
Ian Lougher, Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston in the winners` enclosure following the 2015 500cc Classic TT
Tyco BMW`s Ian Hutchinson
Bruce Anstey on the YZR500 Yamaha at the Classic TT.
Ian Hutchinson leads Michael Dunlop in the Superbike class at the Ulster Grand Prix.
Ian Hutchinson celebrates his four wins at the Ulster Grand Prix.
Senior TT race winner Michael Dunlop, runner-up Ian Hutchinson and John McGuinness
Sidecar crew Ian and Carl Bell
Bruce Anstey, William Dunlop and Daley Mathison were the top three in the SES TT Zero race.
Bruce Anstey won the SES TT Zero race on the Mugen.
Ian Hutchinson o the Team Traction Control Yamaha R6 at the Isle of Man TT.
Ian Hutchinson on the Team Traction Control Yamaha in the second Monster Energy Supersport race at the Isle of Man TT.
Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW Superstock machine at the Isle of Man TT.

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