Just as he had done on Tuesday, Peter Hickman dominated proceedings in second qualifying for the Superstock races at the International North West 200 with the Smiths Racing rider lapping some 1.6s quicker than Glenn Irwin to claim pole position.
At one stage, Hickman was a whopping 3.5s clear of Michael Dunlop after lapping at 4m23.604s – less than a second outside the lap record – but some formation flying from the Quattro Plant Wicked Coatings Kawasaki pairing of Irwin and James Hillier late in the session saw them close the gap considerably and jump up on to the front row.
Dunlop dropped back to fourth on his MD Racing/Carl Cox Motorsport BMW despite lapping more than half a second quicker today compared to Tuesday with Lee Johnston slipping three places from second to fifth for a second row start.
He was only able to improve by a tenth of a second today on the Ashcourt Racing BMW and he’ll be joined on the second row by Dean Harrison, the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki rider lapping more than three seconds quicker in this morning’s session.
Michael Rutter (Bathams Racing BMW) and Richard Cooper (Buildbase Suzuki) were two of the few riders who failed to go quicker today but their times from Tuesday were good enough for seventh and eighth and Ian Hutchinson will round out the third row despite losing his time from Tuesday due to running the incorrect fuel.
Gary Johnson, still in some discomfort with the leg injury he sustained at Oulton Park just over a week ago, took a solid tenth ahead of Penz13.com team-mates Davey Todd and Daley Mathison and David Johnson on the second Honda Racing machine.