Peter Hickman made it three pole positions from three at the Ulster Grand Prix on Thursday afternoon when he followed up his success in the Superbike and Superstock categories with the top spot in the Supersport class on the Trooper Beer by Smiths Racing Triumph.
It was a lot closer than the other classes though as Lee Johnston got to within 0.698s of Hickman’s pole lap of 128.511mph which was just over half a second outside the lap record.
Just like he had done in the Superbike session, Hickman got out the traps quickest with his opening lap of 126.464mph putting him an impressive 3.5s ahead of Jamie Coward, the latter not going any quicker until the closing minutes.
Both Dean Harrison and Conor Cummins called into the pits early but Hickman pressed on with his second lap of 127.296mph seeing him remain on top albeit by just a second from lap record holder Johnston on the Ashcourt Racing Yamaha.
Both riders upped the pace further on their fourth lap with a speed of 127.581mph from Hickman seeing him extend his advantage over Johnston to 1.282s. Coward was still in third but not for long as he was overhauled by both Harrison and Davey Todd on the Milenco by Padgetts Motorcycles Honda.
Johnston closed to within 0.368s but Hickman immediately responded and with five minutes of the session to go, a lap of 128.511mph was ultimately enough for him to claim his third pole position.
Johnston’s final lap of 128.079mph saw him cut the gap to 0.698s and Harrison clawed his way up to third by the end of the session albeit some 3.3s behind the flying Hickman. The latter did stop at Deer’s Leap though on his final lap.
Todd slipped back to fourth ahead of team-mate Cummins with Coward, who had dropped back to seventh at one stage, fighting his way back up to sixth in the dying moments.
Paul Jordan, Michael Sweeney, David Johnson and Sam West rounded out the top ten.