International road racing celebrity Guy Martin begins his preparations for the Isle of Man TT in earnest on Thursday at the Relentless International North West 200.

Martin, who commenced his road racing exploits with victory at the Cookstown 100 in the Open race in Northern Ireland last month, showed plenty of promise during Tuesday's first qualifying session as he posted the second best time behind team-mate Alastair Seeley in the Supersport class, less than a second in arrears.

Martin was fourth fastest in the Superbike session but was a non-qualifier in the Superstock class along with team-mate Conor Cummins as both men suffered similar problems.

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Final qualifying takes place on Thursday, with the first races - the Superstock and Supertwin events - behind held in the evening.

Martin said: "The Supersport and Superbike are bang on as you can see by the times and we'll have no bother qualifying the Superstock bike tomorrow.

"It's all good. The team is working well, we've got ourselves dialled into the place pretty quickly and I'm looking forward to racing."

Manx rider Conor Cummins also adds weight to the Ulster team's challenge for honours at the North West.

"I'm a little disappointed with my Superbike times but we're there or thereabouts and a front row start at the North West is not imperative," he said.

"We suffered a little problem with the Superstocker and didn't post a time but we'll get that sorted in the morning."