North West 200: Irwin tops Superbike times as Seeley earns two pole positions

Glenn Irwin pipped fellow Carrickfergus rider Alastair Seeley in last year's feature Superbike race at the meeting
Glenn Irwin qualified ahead of Dean Harrison and Michael Dunlop in the Superbike session
North West 200 international road races
Dates: Tuesday 15 May-Saturday 19 May Venue: Triangle circuit, Portstewart, Coleraine, Portrush
Coverage: All practices and races live on the BBC sport website and BBC Radio Ulster; Highlights on BBC One NI Friday 18 May, Sunday 20 May and Monday 21 May

Glenn Irwin clinched Superbike pole and Alastair Seeley topped Supersport and Superstock qualifying at the North West 200 in Northern Ireland.

Seeley, who has a record 21 North West wins, was fourth fastest in Superbikes, led by his fellow Carrickfergus rider Irwin in a time of 122.454mph.

Seeley headed the Supersport and Superstock sessions with times of 116.96mph and 121.37mph respectively.

England's Martin Jessopp secured Supertwins pole.

North West 200 action continues on Thursday evening (17:30 BST) with riders competing in the opening Supersport, Superstock and Supertwins races with the main day of racing take place on Saturday on the Triangle course.

Irwin's first place in Thursday's Superbike qualifying came after the session was held up because of an oil spill on the course. Dean Harrison came second, with Michael Dunlop finishing third.

Seeley secured first place in the Supersport class ahead of Jessopp and Harrison, who came second in the Superstock practice ahead of Dunlop.

Ducati rider Irwin topped the Superbike times after a dramatic session which saw only one second separating the top five.

Dean Harrison in action in Superbike qualifying on Thursday
Dean Harrison qualified second in both the Superbike and Superstock sessions

"I am really, really happy to take pole," said Irwin, who is only competing in the Superbike class at the meeting.

"I've only done about six laps in the dry around here this week and the rest of the boys have done 40 or 50."

The final superbike qualifying session had to be red flagged after Lee Johnston's Honda Racing Fireblade blew an engine at Carnelridge and dropped oil on the road.

With the track cleaned there were just 20 minutes left before the roads had to be reopened, turning the final session into a hectic sprint for the frontrunners.

Provisional pole position man from Tuesday, Lee Johnston, ended up 10th in the Superbike qualifying standings with his Honda team-mate Ian Hutchinson, back at the meeting after his serious injury problems last year, 13th fastest.

Seeley faced a strong challenge from Bradford rider Harrison in the Superstock session with Supertwins pole position Jessopp second behind the North West record-holder in the Supersport session.

Supertwins practice
1. Martin JessoppKawasaki108.897mph
2. Adam McLeanKawasaki108.883
3. James CowtonKawasaki108.466
4. Joey ThompsonPaton107.936
5. Derek McGeeKawasaki107.519
6. Jeremy McWilliamsKawasaki107.308
Superstock practice
1. Alastair SeeleyBMW121.37mph
2. Dean HarrisonKawasaki120.43
3. Michael DunlopBMW120.40
4. Michael RutterBMW120.022
5. Dan KneenBMW119.758
6. Peter HickmanBMW 119.49
Supersport practice
1. Alastair SeeleyBMW116.96
2. Martin JessoppKawasaki117.78
3. Dean HarrisonKawasaki115.685
4. Michael DunlopHonda115.667
5. Lee JohnstonHonda115.651
6. William DunlopYamaha115.224
Superbike practice
1. Glenn IrwinDucati122.454mph
2. Dean HarrisonKawasaki122.423
3. Michael DunlopBMW122.410
4. Alastair SeeleyBMW122.077
5. Michael RutterBMW122.049
6. Martin JessoppBMW121.558