The first practice for this weekend’s NW200 has been and gone, with plenty of action and stories already emerging from the 200mph track.
Most are concentrating on Michael Dunlop and his current mastery of his Honda TT Legends Fireblade. He ended up topping a drying superbike practice – a country mile ahead of Bruce Anstey, who himself is looking bang on form. John McGuinness is enjoying life on the CBR600RR and is out in front here in the supersport class. NW200 specialist, Alastair Seeley is leading the contenders in the superstock category, while another local, Jeremy McWilliams is fastest of all the Supertwins.
The weather doesn’t look too bad for Thursday’s practice, so expect speeds and lap times to go in their appropriate direction. Currently we’ve not yet seen a 200mph bike through the speed trap yet (last year’s sensation Martin Jessopp managed to blow his bike up yesterday), though Dean Harrison’s superstock Kawasaki ZX-10R came closest at 199.2mph – a few mph quicker than any speed set in the superbikes. James Hillier in supersport clocked up an impressive 176mph.
As mentioned, qualifying takes place on Thursday, with two races also happening, while Saturday sees all the action in all the classes. Check in to www.northwest200.org for schedules, results and all the action, while the current issue of Fast Bikes features our ace A-Z feature on the NW200.