International North West 200 – Tuesday Practice & Qualifying

Tyco Suzuki British Superbike star Josh Brookes made an impressive debut during today’s opening Superbike practice session at the International North West 200, posting the fourth fastest time after briefly topping the premier class timesheets.

Guy Martin was equally impressive, taking third spot in the Supersport class on his GSX-R600 Tyco Suzuki, and although the Lincolnshire man requires additional laps to qualify his Superbike on Thursday morning – his fastest lap today was good enough for a front row grid spot.

In a Superstock session reduced to just fifteen minutes at the end of the day, Brookes managed 21st place on his GSX-R1000, and Martin posted the fifteenth quickest time, but again requires additional laps on Thursday to qualify his Tyco Suzuki.

Josh Brookes:
“I’m quite surprised how things went on the Superbike, but when I thought about it, it makes sense, as it’s the bike I’m familiar with and the bike I’ve been riding all year. It’s doing everything I want it to do, so I got out there and learnt the track and it was going really well and I’m pleased with the qualifying position.

“The Superstock bike was a little unfamiliar for me and I couldn’t get it to do what I wanted like the Superbike, although it was the first time I’d ever ridden it and it was a shortened session. We will make some changes and I know the guys will get the Superstock bike where we need it to be. Hopefully we can get some additional dry track time on Thursday and get more momentum. It’s a tricky wee place and I think once I learn the track a bit better, and get more laps under my belt, we will go even better.”

Guy Martin:
“The 600 bike is mint and although we had a few little issues on the Superbike, we know she is quick and a capable machine around here, so I’m happy with her. The Superstock session was cut short and we run out of time to change the gearing and get back out there, but our grid positions in general are not too bad and I know we can improve on Thursday. Yeah it’s all good so far.”

Philip Neill – Team Manager:

“It was a difficult day weather-wise to start the first international road race of the year, but both Guy and Josh coped really well. I think they both showed their class and pace and while other teams and riders struggled and have bigger concerns than us for Thursday – we just have to fine-tune some bits and pieces. I’m pleased that Josh settled in well on his first day of road racing and Guy also started positively. The Superstock session maybe didn’t go exactly how we would have liked, but it was a short session and we still have Thursday morning to sort some bits and pieces before racing on Thursday night.”

Supersport First Qualifying

John McGuinness [Honda]
Bruce Anstey [Honda] +1.317sec
Guy Martin [Suzuki] +1.955
William Dunlop [Milwaukee Yamaha] +2.162
Stuart Easton [Yamaha] +3.225
Michael Dunlop [Honda] +3.813
James Hillier [Kawasaki] +6.207
Conor Cummins [Milwaukee Yamaha] +8.053
Cameron Donald [Honda] 8.964
Michael Sweeney [Yamaha] +11.248

Superbike First Qualifying
Michael Dunlop [Honda]
Bruce Anstey [Honda] +7.615sec
Dean Harrison [Kawasaki] +9.712
Josh Brookes [Suzuki] +10.407
William Dunlop [Milwaukee Yamaha] +10.592
Michael Rutter [Honda] +10.756
Cameron Donald [Honda] +12.249
John McGuinness [Honda] +14.842
Conor Cummins [Milwaukee Yamaha] +15.457
Ben Wylie [BMW] +18.086
*Guy Martin quickest Superbike lap: 4min:41.571