Alastair Seeley fastest in first North West 200 session

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It was a day of high speeds and hailstones as practice got underway for the North West 200 international road races.

Alastair Seeley from Carrickfergus set down an impressive marker in Tuesday's opening practice session at the North West 200 road races.

The 32-year-old Tyco Suzuki rider was fastest in first qualifying for the Superbike and Supersport classes.

Yeovil's Martin Jessopp set a North West record when he went through a speed trap at 208mph.

Adrian Archibald of Ballymoney topped the Supertwins while Dungannon's Ryan Farquhar was best in the Superstocks.

Seeley's performance suggested he will be the man to beat in Saturday's big Superbike showdown over the 8.9-mile Triangle circuit.

His average speed of 120.69mph in Tuesday's practice placed him ahead of John McGuinness who, like Seeley, has five North West 200 career wins to his name.

William Dunlop was third and record man Jessopp fourth.

BSB competitor Seeley was understandably happy with his opening showing.

"Thursday might be wet so it was important to post some good times," he said.

"We had prepared well for this and it is nice to top P1 in the first two sessions."

William Dunlop, the elder of the brothers from Ballymoney, had the edge over his sibling Michael in their three classes.

Michael is getting used to new machinery under the McAdoo Racing banner, while William is on the same bikes as last year.

Former 250cc world championship and MotoGP rider Jeremy McWilliams, making his NW200 debut, finished ninth in the Supertwins.

Ryan Farquhar's KMR team claimed four of the top six places in the Supertwins - Archibald, Michael Rutter, Farquhar and Jamie Hamilton.

Superbike times: 1 Alastair Seeley 120.69 average speed; 2 John McGuinness 119.25; 3 William Dunlop 118.43; 4 Martin Jessopp 117.61; 5 Guy Martin 117.91; 6 Michael Dunlop 117.54.

Supersport: 1 Alastair Seeley 113.24mph. 2 GuyMartin 112.87. 3 John McGuinness 112.41 4 William Dunlop 112.16; 5 Gary Johnson 110.92; 6 Michael Dunlop 109.90.

Superstock: 1 Ryan Farquhar 117.55mph; 2 Alastair Seeley 117.34; 3 John McGuinness 116.63; 4 William Dunlop 115.53; 5 Stephen Thompson 115.04; 6 Bruce Anstey 115.03.

Supertwins: 1 Adrian Archibald 104.35; 2 Michael Rutter 104.03; 3 James Hillier 103.85; 4 R Farquhar 103.84; 5 Jamie Hamilton 103.60; 6 William Davison 101.34.

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