Rutter On Provisional Pole At North West 200.

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Rutter On Provisional Pole At North West 200.

Postby AlesiFan » Wed 09 May, 2007 2:09 pm

Michael Rutter on the Isilon MSS Discovery Kawasaki has taken provisional pole position in the Superbike class at the Kennedy International North West 200.

He lapped the nine mile circuit in 4mins 29.247 secs and completed enough laps to qualify. Bruce Anstey on the Relentless Suzuki was actually faster but didn't complete enough laps for his time to stand. The Kiwi lapped in 4mins 28.892secs and also topped the Supersport and Superstock times sheets, qualifying in both classes.

“The Superbike is ok, it's quite well set up, we are down on top speed but handling wise it's good," said Rutter. He is also competing in the Supersport class where he finished eleventh, “On the 600 I just keep coming across back markers and then someone blew up in front of me, I'm sure it will all be ok for Thursday." Rutter also had the joy of back markers on the racing line running at lower speeds which he wasn't impressed with.
Anstey was as laid back as ever saying, “We've got new White Power suspension this year so we've been dialling it in. I feel confident now I'm not too bothered if it rains on Thursday as all the hard work is done. The 600 is going really well and the stock is ok too."

TT legend John McGuinness is riding for HM Plant in the Superbike class where he qualified in third place. He is also racing his Padgetts Supersport bike and a Padgetts 250. “Superbike is pretty good, we've got different yokes from last year and the engine is strong. I had good pace so I'm not disappointed," commented McGuinness.
In the sport class he finished fifth, “The 600 is good but a bit over geared but as it is the 2007 model no one has any data. I stayed out just to get used to it," he said. AS for the 250 class, he was loving it! “I feel like I'm twelve years old again. The 250 that I'm riding is brand new, it has never turned a wheel, we just tipped some juice in it and off we went. Last time I rode one was 2007 so I've not been on one for seven years and I'm running P2. I'm over the moon the team are buzzing I really enjoyed it. Should improve on Thursday," he concluded.

Guy Martin on the Hydrex Honda has been putting his track time for BSB to good use as he qualified in second place in the Superbike class. He was seventh in the Supersport and a non qualifier in Superstock but is confident he can rectify that on Thursday evening.

“The Superbike is grand it is a bit unstable but it just needs a few tweaks here and there. I'm finding my way round again and getting my head up to speed. The 600 is good once you get it rolling, it is lacking on grunt out of the corners but that is more down to electrics than the engine but we can sort that out. That was my first time on the stock bike, my team-mate, AJ has been riding it all year so I just need to adjust the riding position," said Martin.

Last years double race winner Steve Plater on the AIM Yamaha was fourth in Superbike and is also competiting in the Supersport class which was a last minute decision. “Could have been better," he said, “I mean we didn't race at Oulton so we could get the bikes ready and give ourselves some breathing space. The chassis and engine are all good, I'm really happy as I thought there would be more work to do. I could have gone faster but I wanted to make some changes."
Plater is no stranger to the 600 class but he hasn't ridden one for quite some time as he explained, “This is my first time in a year on a Supersport bike and it belongs to Richard Cooper. I had to change the foot rest position as he has only 12 inch legs; I had my knees round my head. We only decided to chuck the 600 in; it wasn't in our original plan. I managed four laps on my own and we do need to change the gearing for Thursday for second qualifying but I'm happy and there is more to come."

Ian Lougher on the Black Horse Finance and Stobart Honda machines had a steady night putting his bikes firmly in the top ten. “The Superbike is ok for first time out we aren't much off the pace. I stayed out and got lots of laps in. We have lots to try but little time to try it. It's improving but there were a lot of back markers out there," he complained.

“I only got two laps in on the Superstock bike but it feels ok. I just need to reset the handle bars and the seat padding, things like that. The suspension and tyres are great. This is my first time out on Dunlops and they are handling really well, lots of grip. I'm happy enough we are not far off," he continued, “I stayed out on it but the gearing is not quite right, and the forks are not quite right but we know what to change to fix that. I stayed out basically to get up to speed as you get faster and faster. I need to attack it on Thursday as I don't want to be still building up speed on Saturday."
HM Plant Honda's Ian Hutchinson had a difficult time on track due to his injury sustained during a qualifying crash at Oulton Park. “I'm struggling to be honest, I've got no strength to brake," he said, “I really need to rest and all I've been doing is riding. I'm going to see a physio that works with Jeremy McWilliams. The bikes have no issues, it's just me."
Dubliner, Martin Finnegan had a night to forget on both his machines, the Klaffi Alpha Boilers Honda and the MV Agusta as he explains, “The Superbike has fuelling problems and won't rev out properly. I got no clear laps in because of it so I just hope that the weather holds for Thursday. The water hose burst on the MV so I'll be out drowning my sorrows tonight!"

Second qualifying takes place on Thursday 10th May, roads close at 5pm.

Superbike qualifying (1) results – North West 200:

1. Michael Rutter
2. Guy Martin
3. John McGuinness
4. Steve Plater
5. Ryan Rainey
6. Adrian Archibald
7. Ian Lougher
8. Stuart Easton
9. Keith Amor
10. Conor Cummins

Supersport qualifying (1) results – North West 200:

1. Bruce Anstey
2. Steve Plater
3. Cameron Donald
4. Keith Amor
5. John McGuinness
6. Alastair Seeley
7. Guy Martin
8. Ian Lougher
9. Raymond Porter
10. Conor Cummins

Superstock qualifying (1) results – North West 200:

1. Bruce Anstey
2. Alastair Seeley
3. Conor Cummins
4. Callum Ramsay
5. Denver Robb
6. Phil Stewart
7. Raymond Porter
8. James McBride
9. Frank Spenner
10. Stefano Bonetti
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