Ulster Grand Prix race organisers have announced that they will introduce a Superpole session for 2016 in the Superbike class.
Following the news that road closures will be extended this year, there will be a new session added to the order on Thursday. The fastest 12 riders in the Superbike practice session will return to the grid later that day for a special timed event. Outside of the top 12, riders will start from 13th onwards based on their qualifying practice times.
“I’ve wanted to introduce a Superpole session at the Ulster for a while,” Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston revealed. “Now that we’ve reshuffled our practice timings we are able to accommodate it. The session will consist of one individual warm up lap immediately followed by two individual laps for each of the top 12 Superbike riders, allowing them an opportunity to secure their eventual grid position on a fair basis. It’s an added bonus for the spectators too, as each rider will attempt their fastest lap on a clear track, without obstacles or direct competition.”
“It’s a bit of a shake up for us but I believe it will be extremely well received for the roads,” he continued. “We’re looking forward to what will surely be an electric qualifier. The thought of watching Michael Dunlop, Ian Hutchinson, hopefully Guy Martin and some of the other big names out on track, on their own, pushing the bikes on a flying lap is a spectacle not to be missed.”
The format is used in World Superbikes and is being introduced in the British Superbikes for this season.