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NW200: 'Lots more to come from BMW', says Dunlop

North West 200 Superbike pole-sitter Michael Dunlop says he has only scratched the surface with his new BMW Motorrad S1000RR
Michael Dunlop showed he is getting to grips with his new BMW Motorrad S1000RR as the Ulster rider unofficially smashed the Superbike lap record at the North West 200.

Dunlop sent a warning to his rivals on the final lap of qualifying on Thursday with a stunning speed of 122.274mph around the 8.9-mile coastal circuit, which takes in the towns of Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine.

Michael Rutter on the Bathams BMW and Alastair Seeley on the Mar-Train Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R complete the front row.

Dunlop, who made the switch to BMW after riding for the Honda TT Legends team in 2013, said: “We are getting there, slowly but surely.

“The BMW feels really good and I have to say that I really like it, but we still haven't had enough time with this bike.

“This is a new German engine that is a lot faster than the BSB one I've tested and we are making lots of changes to the chassis. I still think that there is a lot more in this bike.”

Dunlop, who finished second in the opening Superstock race on Thursday evening, also starts from pole in the second race for the class on Saturday on his MD Racing BMW.

Rutter, meanwhile, was disappointed to miss out on the top spot in the Superbike class after feeling he had complete the 'perfect lap'.

The British Superbike rider was around a second off Dunlop's time and said: “I thought that I had done the perfect lap today and I am disappointed not to get pole.

“I got a tow from William Dunlop on the Suzuki but when I pulled out of the slipstream we just weren't quick enough. It's a good bike but it is only a standard engine.”

Seeley set his fastest time on lap three but lost time when his Kawasaki ZX-10R expired. The Mar-Train Racing rider – a double winner in the Supersport and Superstock classes on Thursday – is happy enough with a front row start and on current form could take some stopping as he bids to add to his tally of 12 victories.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Dunlop on the BMW Motorrad S1000RR at the North West 200
Michael Dunlop at the Frohburg Road Races
Michael Dunlop at the Frohburg Road Races
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69
Michael Dunlop at the Classic TT
Michael Dunlop at the Ulster Grand Prix on the BMW Motorrad S1000RR
Carl Fogarty will take part in a special tribute lap to Joey Dunlop at the Classic TT
Graeme Crosby will participate in a special parade lap at the Classic TT in tribute to Joey Dunlop
Robert Dunlop on the Norton Rotary at the Isle of Man TT in 1990
Peter Hickman on the Ice Valley BMW
Michael Dunlop (Superbike) at Southern 100 (Pic: apex-photos.com)
Senior TT race winner Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop on the BMW Motorrad S1000RR in the Senior TT
Michael Dunlop, Conor Cummins and Guy Martin on the Senior TT podium
Michael Rutter on the Smiths Triumph
William Dunlop on the Tyco Suzuki Supersport machine at the Isle of Man TT
Michael Dunlop lines up at the start of the second Supersport TT race
Bruce Anstey and Michael Dunlop shake hands at the Isle of Man TT after the second Supersport race

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