Smiths BMW rider Peter Hickman dominated the opening Fonacab Ulster GP Superbike practice today, going almost 5s faster than Conor Cummins in second place.
Hickman put in a 131.237mph lap on his S1000RR to top the session with Cummins’ Milenco by Padgett’s Honda Fireblade in second on a 128.299 lap. Davey Todd took his Penz13.com BMW to third place before a rain shower brought the action to a halt with nine minutes remaining.
“My plan was to go and do a steady lap, put in two fliers and then come in and that’s what we did,” Hickman explained after setting his quickest time on his third circuit.
Hickman made a lengthy pit stop after the third lap to lower his S1000RR’s gearing but failed to improve his time as the conditions worsened.
Lee Johnston managed a 127.395 on the Ashcourt BMW for fourth with Dean Harrison’s Silicone Kawasaki in fifth. Newly-crowned Irish Superbike Champion Derek Sheils put the Burrows Suzuki in sixth, one ahead of Paul Jordan.
The injured Michael Dunlop put in a 126.671 for eighth with Honda’s David Johnson in ninth place. Jamie Coward completed the top ten with a 124.683 on the Prez Yamaha.
Phil Crowe, Michael Sweeney, Sam West, Brian MacCormack and David Jackson rounded out the top 15.