Ulster Grand Prix: Peter Hickman dominates Thursday's qualifying

By Richard PetrieBBC Sport NI
Hickman is currently 3rd in the British Superbike Championship after a win and second place at Thruxton last weekend.
Hickman is currently 3rd in the British Superbike Championship after a win and second place at Thruxton last weekend.

Peter Hickman has set the fastest qualifying times in the Superbike, Superstock and Supersport classes at the Ulster Grand Prix.

The Lincolnshire rider was quickest during Wednesday's opening sessions and continued his dominance on Thursday.

He topped the Superbikes with the best qualifying lap ever around the Dundrod circuit at 133.56mph on his Smith's BMW

He was the leading Superstock with 132.33mph and was also best in the Supersports with 127.33mph.

Pole position for the two Superbike races will be decided by a Superpole session on Saturday morning, contested by the fastest 10 riders in practice.

Manxman Dan Kneen was second in the 'big bike' leaderboard on his Tyco BMW, a ride he only secured last week, with an average lap speed of 133.186.

Twelve-times winner Bruce Anstey was third on 132.98, with his Padgett's Honda team-mate Conor Cummins next at 132.651.

Ulster Grand Prix BBC schedule

William Dunlop was fifth on 132.606 and enjoyed the distinction of becoming the first rider to register 200mph through the 'speed trap' on the 'Flying Kilo' section of the course soon after the start and finish.

However, the Ballymoney rider will not race in today's Dundrod 150 Superbike race because of a wrist injury he suffered during an accident at home.

He is also set to sit out the 1000cc Superbike and Superstock races on Saturday but may still compete in the two smaller capacity Supersport races.

In the Superstocks, Hickman was followed by Silicone Engineering Kawasaki pilot Dean Harrison, who was marginally slower than his compatriot with 132.237.

Kneen again excelled with the third fastest speed on 130.732 to clinch a front row spot for Saturday's first race of the day.

Hickman was 0.124 seconds ahead of Harrison in the Supersports, the Yorkshireman lapping at 127.258, with Anstey next with 126.399.

Ivan Lintin secured pole position for the Supertwins event courtesy of his lap of 117.435 on Wednesday.

Michael Dunlop had a disappointing practice period by his high standards, ending up sixth in the Superbike standings, eighth in the Superstocks and sixth in Supersports.

Lee Johnston was a treble winner at the Ulster Grand Prix in 2015

Ulster Grand Prix road closures, practice and race schedule

Roads closed - Wednesday and Thursday 9 and 10 August - 10:00 BST to 21:30 BST; Saturday 12 August - 09:30 BST to 20:30 BST

Thursday racing - Dundrod 150 - Race 1 - Dundrod 150 National Race (5 laps); Race 2 - Ultralightweight/Lightweight (5 laps); Race 3 - Dundrod 150 Challenge (5 laps); Race 4 - Dundrod 150 Superbike (6 laps); Race 5 - Dundrod 150 Supertwins (5 laps)

Saturday racing - Ulster Grand Prix - Race 1 - Superstock (6 laps); Race 2 - Supersport (6 laps); Race 3 - Ultralightweight/Lightweight; Race (5 laps) Race 4 - UGP Superbike (7 laps); Race 5 - Supertwins (5 laps); Race 6 - Supersport (6 laps); Race 7 - Superbike Race (6 laps).