Peter Hickman shattered Ian Hutchinson’s year-old outright lap record with a sizzling ride to victory in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix.
The Smiths BMW rider upped the ante to 134.210mph on his third lap as he put some daylight between himself and the chasing pack.
It was Hickman’s second ever win at Dundrod following his 2015 Superbike success and the English rider has thrown down the gauntlet for Saturday’s main event after topping qualifying in the Superbike, Superstock and Supersport classes.
Hickman pulled clear by almost four seconds heading onto the sixth and final lap but the 30-year-old could afford to ease off in the closing stages, eventually taking the chequered flag by 1.9 seconds from Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki.
Harrison got the better of Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Honda RC213V-S and Tyco BMW’s Dan Kneen on the final lap to seal the runner-up spot.
Michael Dunlop was unable to force his way into the podium battle as he finished fifth on the Bennetts Suzuki, while Lee Johnston (East Coast BMW) came out on top of a three-way battle for sixth with Derek Sheils (Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki) and Aussie Dave Johnson (BMW).
Conor Cummins was right in the battle for the top three but was forced to retire at the hairpin on the second lap on the Padgetts Honda Fireblade.