Honda’s Dunlop Earns Pole for North West 200

2013 North West 200 Superbike Qualifying Results

The man who dominated all Superbike practices for the 2013 Vauxhall International North West 200 will start Saturday’s two SBK races in the most optimal position – first.

The rider, Honda TT Legends Michael Dunlop, set a fastest lap of 118.211 mph under dry conditions Tuesday to give him the pole position. Thursday’s sessions were held under wet conditions, not allowing the riders to come up to speed.

Joining Dunlop on the front row for Saturday’s two Superbike races will be HM Plant Padgett Honda’s Bruce Anstey and TYCO Suzuki’s Guy Martin.

Dunlop set a best lap of 4:33.173, which was seven seconds quicker than the Anstey. To put this time into perspective, the circuit record is 4:24.960 with an average speed of 121.875 around the 8.9-mile circuit in Ireland.

As for Dunlop’s Honda TT Legends teammates, 19-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness qualified ninth, and Michael Rutter seventh. Last year, McGuinness won the Superbike race.

Michael Dunlop (Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR) says: “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.”

Neil Tuxworth (Honda TT Legends Team Manager) says: “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.”

John McGuinness (Honda TT Legends CBR1000RR) says: “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.”