Following its success at the fourth round of the British Superbike Championship, Dunlop has also proved the capabilities of its rubber on public roads by claiming pole position for this weekend's North West 200. Supported rider Michael Rutter's best average speed of 122.21mph during the second Superbike qualifying session on Thursday evening enabled him to secure the premier spot ahead of tomorrow's races.
The British tyre manufacturer enjoyed unprecedented success at international road racing events such as the Isle of Man TT, North West 200, Ulster and Macau GPs in 2006. Dunlop uses its racing experience to develop new technologies for its high-performance road products, such as the new GP Racer and Qualifier RR. Having already achieved success with its N-Tech and Triple Tread Compound (TTC) technology on short circuits, Dunlop looks to further demonstrate the versatility of its tyres on the public roads this weekend.
Multiple North West 200 victor Rutter returns to the infamous 8.96-mile triangle circuit aboard Kawasaki machinery this year. However, he faces stiff opposition from Isle of Man TT hat-trick hero John McGuinness and road racing regular Steve Plater, who also fancy their chances in Northern Ireland.
McGuinness recorded a top speed of 122.05mph to secure third position behind Suzuki's Bruce Anstey, while Plater - who won both of last year's Superbike races - is 2.567s behind McGuinness in fourth position. Other experienced Dunlop contenders looking to give Rutter a run for his money include Guy Martin, Ian Lougher and Keith Amor who are all contesting Honda CBR1000RR Fireblades.
In the Supersport class, Martin's best average speed of 115.31mph has earned him second position on the grid - just 3.230s behind polesitter Anstey. Dunlop-supported riders Plater, Cameron Donald and Amor complete the top five positions.
Race 1; DeWalt Superbike / Race 5 Blackhorse Superbike;
- 1. Michael RUTTER (Kawasaki) 4:24.096
- 2. Bruce ANSTEY (Suzuki); 4:24.117
- 3. John McGUINNESS (Honda) 4:24.463
- 4. Steve PLATER (Yamaha) 4:27.030
- 5. Ryan RAINEY (Yamaha) 4:27.691
Race 2; Club SOI Supersport / Race 6 Ballymoney Council Supersport;
- 1. Bruce ANSTEY (Suzuki) 4:36.677
- 2. Guy MARTIN (Honda) 4:39.907
- 3. Steve PLATER (Yamaha) 4:41.695
- 4. Cameron DONALD (Honda) 4:41.700
- 5. Keith AMOR (Honda) 4:41.924