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Dunlop on pole for the North West 200

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Honda TT Legends’ Michael Dunlop will start this weekend’s North West 200 Superbike races from pole position, while Michael Rutter and John McGuinness will start from seventh and ninth respectively.

Today’s second practice went ahead in persistent rain, meaning that there was no improvement on Tuesday’s times from any of the riders. Dunlop was the fastest rider in both sessions and his best lap of 4:33.173 was seven seconds quicker than the second placed rider Bruce Anstey. The two Superbike races will go ahead on Saturday 18 May.

Neil Tuxworth   Considering the terrible conditions we’ve had for practice here at the North West, which have not only been wet and windy but constantly changing, to have all three riders qualify in the top ten without an incident is an excellent way to go into the races on Saturday. Dunlop’s performance on the Superbike machine in particular has been outstanding in each session.

Michael Dunlop   I still feel like we’ve got a bit of work to do, but the bike’s working really well and it’s great to be starting the race from the prime position. We’re quickest and we’re ready to go, but there’s not much more we can do now until race day. Let’s just see what happens.   John McGuinness   I mistimed my fast lap and got caught in traffic on Tuesday so it’s a real shame that today’s been wet and I couldn’t improve the time. It’s a little disappointing as I’ve been on the front row many times here. I’ve been going great on the Superstock and the 600 but this is a priority race and it’s not really happened for me. I’m on the third row and if I can make a good start and be strong on the first lap I think we’ll be alright.

Michael Rutter   It’s a shame we didn’t get the chance to improve on our times today. The conditions have been horrendous but the bike felt good and we’re happy enough with qualifying. I just hope we get some decent weather on Saturday so that we can give it a good go.

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