By Kyle White Belfast Newsletter.
Richard Kerr made a winning start to the Sunflower Trophy meeting at Bishopscourt on Friday with a narrow victory in the opening Superbike race.
The County Donegal man edged out Eunan McGlinchey (600 McAdoo Kawasaki) by just under half-a-second in the damp to seal the win on his AMD Motorsport Honda, with Simon Reid over nine seconds back in third on the Start Solar Honda Fireblade.
Jason Lynn finished fourth (J McC Roofing Kawasaki) ahead of Jonny Campbell (BPE Yamaha R1), with Gary McCoy rounding out the top six on the MadBros Suzuki.
National Superstock 1000 race winner Kerr is one of the main favourites for Saturday’s blue riband Sunflower race at the County Down circuit, where Ulster Superbike Champion Alastair Seeley qualified on pole on the IFS Yamaha R1.
Seeley and a raft of leading names sat out the Superbike opener, including Richard Cooper, Adam McLean, Korie McGreevy, Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson.
The Carrick man topped the Sunflower qualifying times by 0.6s from Kerr on a wet day at Bishopscourt, with McGlinchey 0.4s further back in third.
Lynn was fourth fastest, only 0.039s behind McGlinchey, with McGreevy (600 Century Racing Yamaha) and Cooper (600 BPE by Russell Racing Yamaha) the top six.
Both Seeley and Kerr will be aiming to capitalise on their big chance to add their name to the illustrious list of past winners of the famous trophy, which includes Joey Dunlop, Steve Hislop and Jonathan Rea.
In the Supersport class, McGlinchey headed Seeley by a tenth of a second for pole, followed by McGreevy, Cooper, Sam Laffins (McAdoo Kawasaki) and McLean (McLean Racing Yamaha) as the first six were separated by just 1.1s.
McGlinchey also bagged pole in the Supertwin class by half-a-second from Nottingham’s Cooper (J McC Roofing/KMR Kawasaki), with Laffins only 0.3s back in third. Lisburn’s Carl Phillips was a close fourth on the McKnight Suzuki.
Cory Barron won the first Moto-One race on Friday while Ruben Sherman-Boyd was victorious in the Supersport 300 class.
Morning warm-up on Saturday takes place from 9.15am followed by the main 13-race programme. Weekend admission is £25 with under 16s free.