McGuinness, the sole Honda competitor in the 46-strong field, looked set to claim pole position. The Morecambe-based rider posted the fastest time half-way through the 30-minute session, shortly afterwards the session was red-flagged and the riders returned to the track 15 minutes later. McGuinness was relegated to second when Brendan Roberts posted a faster time, 0.042s, with 90 seconds to go.
The National Superstock series has two races at the Irish venue tomorrow and the front row start puts McGuinness in a prime position to maximise his points scoring potential.
John McGuinness: ďIíve done loads of riding at the North West 200 and maybe that has sharpened me up; there is no substitute for spending time on the bike. From the start of the weekend Iíve been quite relaxed on the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade and Iíve been fairly smooth and the lap times are coming. I canít fault the bike and I am banking on a clean start tomorrow and to get out front first.Ē
1, Brendan Roberts (Suzuki) 1m44.085s,
2, John McGuinness (HM Plant Honda) +0.042s,
3, Marshall Neill (Suzuki) +0.154s,
4, John Laverty (Suzuki) +0.218s,
5, Guy Sanders (Kawasaki) +0.577s,
6, Hudson Kennaugh (Yamaha) +0.623s,
7, Adrian Coates (Suzuki) +0.825s,
8, Luke Quigley (Suzuki) +1.051s,
9, Steve Brogan (Yamaha) +1.125s,
10, John Anderton (Suzuki) +1.447s.
Race One and Two of the Metzeler National Superstock Championship takes place at 14.30 and 17.15 respectively.