2018 Ulster GP: Harrison takes Superstock pole

Picture: Derek Wilson

Dean Harrison claimed pole position for Saturday’s Ulster Grand Prix Superstock race with a lap of 132.776mph during Thursday’s second and final qualifying session.

The Silicone Engineering Kawasaki rider edged out Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) by just over half a second with Davey Todd completing the front row on the Burrows Engineering Suzuki.

With good conditions all around the Dundrod circuit, it was Harrison who came out of the blocks quickest with an opening flying lap of 131.241mph putting him ahead of Todd who was close behind on 131.202mph whilst Hickman slotted into third ahead of Conor Cummins, David Johnson and Lee Johnston.

Second time around and Harrison increased his pace to 132.007mph with Todd up to 131.436mph and Hickman 131.094mph although the latter moved up to second on his fourth lap with a speed of 131.732mph.

As Harrison pitted, Hickman stayed out and his fifth lap of 132.353mph, half a second up on Harrison’s time, looked like it was enough to claim pole position. However, Harrison went back out on track and after a sighting lap, he upped his pace to 132.776mph to go 0.642s quicker than Hickman.

Todd’s lap saw him remain in third but Cummins’ late lap of 131.119mph on the Padgetts Honda made him the fourth and final rider to break the 131mph barrier. Johnson was the only other rider in the 130s in fifth as Johnston completed the top six.

Paul Jordan impressed on the Dafabet Devitt Racing Kawasaki in seventh ahead of the similarly mounted Adam McLean (McAdoo Kawasaki) as Sam West and Brian McCormack rounded out the top ten, the latter stopping at Cochranstown midway through the session.

Derek McGee’s lap of 129.248mph from Wednesday placed him seventh overall on the combined times but he’ll unfortunately be a non-starter after sustaining a number of broken bones during yesterday’s Superbike session.

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