Glenn Irwin goes two for two at North West 200

Seeley dominates Supersport & claims Saturday Superstock win


Glenn Irwin stamped his domination on the 2018 North West 200 event after claiming double superbike victories under great conditions. Alastair Seeley meanwhile took victory in the Superstock and Supersport events, also claiming two race victories on Saturday.

Glenn Irwin topped the North West 200 Superbike podium from Michael Rutter and Dean Harrison
Glenn Irwin topped the North West 200 podium from Michael Rutter and Dean Harrison in the Anchor Bar Superbike race

The initial start of the final feature superbike event was red flagged after just one lap. Irwin seized control of the restart, blitzing the opposition from the drop of the flag to lead by 3.5 seconds after the opening circuit.

The expected big bike clash between Irwin, Seeley and Michael Dunlop failed to materialise as BSB star Irwin dominated. Dunlop eventually trailed in almost ten seconds behind the Carrickfergus man on his Tyco BMW with Lee Johnston third on the Honda Racing Fireblade.

Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop

Irwin had also led the earlier big bike seven lapper by six seconds before hitting trouble on the fourth lap. After that scare Irwin’s lead was cut to less than a second but he recovered to take the chequered flag from Dean Harrison (Silicone Kawasaki) with Michael Rutter third on the Bathams BMW.

Michael Rutter claimed a third place podium position
Michael Rutter claimed a third place podium position

Australian David Johnson suffered a gearbox failure.

Glenn Irwin

“What can I say, it’s just been an awesome day! I managed to get the holeshot in both Glenn Irwinraces and just got my head down which allowed me to break the tow of the other riders. With clear road, you can ride almost the perfect lap and the support I was getting from the crowd was unreal – I didn’t need a pitboard as the crowd were giving me all the signals I needed! The sun shone all day and the crowd was huge so with it being a hard week for the team after Shakey’s accident, hopefully today’s wins have lifted everyone’s spirits.”

Glenn Irwin
Glenn Irwin
Michael Rutter

“I was delighted to get onto the podium in the Superbike race and I wasn’t sure where I’d finished to be honest as it wasn’t clear if Alastair had picked up a penalty or not. I’d have been happy with fourth as I felt like I rode well and the bike was working well too so to finish on the podium again was a real nice bonus. We were in contention throughout though and whilst it was a hard race, we deserved a good finish. The Superstock race started well and I felt like the podium positions would be wide open until the last lap but, unfortunately, I found a false neutral at Juniper which caused me to overshoot and lose time and then I made my own mistake at University as I was trying really hard to claw back the time. I found a false neutral again on the final lap so it was an eventful race and then in the Superbike race at the end, I just lost the tow a little bit and if that happens it’s hard work around here. Overall, it’s been another good week and to finish on the podium against the calibre of teams and riders that were here is a great achievement for everyone at Bathams Racing.”

Michael Rutter
Michael Rutter

Merrow Hotel & Spa NW200 Superbike race (7 laps)

  1. Glenn IRWIN – Ducati – Be Wiser Ducati Racing Team
  2. Michael DUNLOP – BMW – Tyco BMW Motorrad
  3. Lee JOHNSTON – Honda – Honda Racing
  4. Martin JESSOPP – BMW – Riders Motorcycles BMW
  5. Conor CUMMINS – Honda – Padgett’s Motorcycles
  6. Dean HARRISON – Kawasaki – Silicone Engineering Racing
  7. Michael RUTTER – BMW – Bathams Racing
  8. Gary JOHNSON – Kawasaki – RAF Regular & Reserves
  9. James HILLIER – Kawasaki – Quattro Plant / JG Speedfit
  10. Alastair SEELEY – BMW – Tyco BMW Motorrad
  11. Ian HUTCHINSON – Honda – Honda Racing
  12. Sam WEST – BMW – PRL Worthington
  13. Davey TODD – Suzuki – Cookstown BE Racing
  14. Kris DUNCAN – Kawasaki – Turriff Caravan/Cameron Autotech
  15. Bruce BIRNIE – BMW – Carnegie Fuels

Anchor Bar Superbike race (7 laps)

  1. Glenn IRWIN – Ducati – Be Wiser Ducati Racing Team
  2. Dean HARRISON – Kawasaki – Silicone Engineering Racing
  3. Michael RUTTER – BMW – Bathams Racing
  4. Lee JOHNSTON – Honda – Honda Racing
  5. Alastair SEELEY – BMW – Tyco BMW Motorrad
  6. Conor CUMMINS – Honda – Padgett’s Motorcycles
  7. Martin JESSOPP – BMW – Riders Motorcycles BMW
  8. Sam WEST BMW – PRL Worthington
  9. James HILLIER – Kawasaki – Quattro Plant / JG Speedfit
  10. Daniel COOPER – BMW – IMP Cross Engineering
  11. Craig NEVE – BMW – Jackson Racing Academy
  12. Davey TODD – Suzuki – Cookstown BE Racing
  13. Kris DUNCAN – Kawasaki – Turriff Caravan/Cameron Autotech
  14. Adrian CLARK – Kawasaki
  15. Stephen DEGNAN – Kawasaki – PMH Promotions
  16. Toni RECHBERGER – Suzuki – MSC Rottenegg
    …DNF. David Johnson

Supersport & Superstock

Alastair Seeley
Alastair Seeley

Seeley failed to make the podium in either superbike race, but he won Saturday’s opening Supersport event before going on to claim his 24th North West victory in a thrilling Superstock race.

The 38-year-old also smashed the 600cc lap record on the EHA Yamaha R6 during the first race of the day, setting a new mark of 117.913mph on the final lap to take his second Supersport success of the week following his Thursday evening victory.

Peter Hickman took the Thursday Superstock race win
Peter Hickman took the Thursday Superstock race win

Seeley’s winning margin was 5.5 seconds from James Hillier (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) and Lee Johnston (Padgett’s Honda). Seeley turned the tables in the Superstock race on rival Peter Hickman (Smith’s BMW). The Englishman won Thursday evening’s stocker battle with a stunning late braking manoeuvre on Seeley at Juniper chicane.

This time it was the Northern Irishman who outwitted his opponent, riding around the outside of Hickman on the approach to the same corner to take the lead on the final lap.

Alastair Seeley
Alastair Seeley

Seeley’s hat-trick at the 2018 North West earned him the Man of the Meeting trophy which was presented by the late Robert Dunlop’s wife, Louise. Davey Todd was the Best Newcomer winner and Victor Lopez took the Best Overseas trophy.

Peter Hickman

“I’m naturally delighted to have won my first NW200 Superstock race and the team deserved it as much as me as they’ve worked incredibly hard and given me a great bike. I timed it perfectly in the first race and thought I’d done the same in the second as I tried to get a gap only for Alastair to brake later than I thought possible at the final chicane. In both Superbike races, I made really good starts but had a few issues with the dash in the first race and then a problem with the rear tyre that forced me out. Then in the second, a stone got flicked up and it went through the fairing and then through the radiator pipe which was incredibly unlucky. The biggest disappointment was not getting out in either Supersport race though as everyone had put a lot of effort in getting the bike ready but overall, it’s been a solid enough meeting ahead of the TT.”

Hickman celebrating on Thursday
Hickman celebrating on Thursday, Seeley slipped past just before the line on Saturday to take the race win

Supersport Race- Saturday

  1. Alastair SEELEY – Yamaha – EHA Racing
  2. James HILLIER – Kawasaki – Quattro Plant / JG Speedfit
  3. Lee JOHNSTON – Honda – Padgett’s Motorcycles
  4. Dean HARRISON – Kawasaki – Silicone Engineering Racing
  5. Michael DUNLOP – Honda – MD Racing
  6. Martin JESSOPP – Triumph – Riders Motorcycles
  7. Conor CUMMINS – Honda – Padgett’s Motorcycles
  8. Gary JOHNSON – Triumph – Lee Hardy Racing
  9. James COWTON – Kawasaki – McAdoo Kawasaki Racing
  10. Dan KNEEN – Honda – Jackson Racing

Supersport Race – Thursday

  1. Alastair SEELEY – Yamaha – EHA Racing
  2. James HILLIER – Kawasaki – Quattro Plant / JG Speedfit
  3. Lee JOHNSTON – Honda – Padgett’s Motorcycles
  4. Dean HARRISON – Kawasaki – Silicone Engineering Racing
  5. Gary JOHNSON – Triumph – Lee Hardy Racing
  6. Conor CUMMINS – Honda – Padgett’s Motorcycles
  7. Ian HUTCHINSON – Honda – Padgett’s Motorcycles
  8. Daniel COOPER – Honda – KW Electrical / CMS
  9. James COWTON – Kawasaki – McAdoo Kawasaki Racing
  10. Dan KNEEN – Honda – Jackson Racing
Gary Johnston
Gary Johnston ran as high as fifth

Superstock Race – Saturday

  1. Alastair SEELEY – BMW – Tyco BMW Motorrad
  2. Peter HICKMAN – BMW – Smith’s Racing BMW
  3. Dean HARRISON – Kawasaki – Silicone Engineering Racing
  4. Michael DUNLOP – BMW – MD Racing
  5. Gary JOHNSON – Kawasaki – RAF Regular & Reserves
  6. Dan KNEEN – BMW – Tyco BMW Motorrad
  7. Martin JESSOPP – BMW – Riders Motorcycles BMW
  8. James HILLIER – Kawasaki – Quattro Plant / JG Speedfit
  9. Conor CUMMINS – Honda – Padgett’s Motorcycles
  10. Daniel COOPER – BMW – IMP Cross Engineering
Superstock Saturday Podium
Superstock Thursday Podium – Seeley, Hickman, Dunlop

Superstock Race – Thursday

  1. Peter HICKMAN – BMW – Smith’s Racing BMW
  2. Alastair SEELEY – BMW – Tyco BMW Motorrad
  3. Michael DUNLOP – BMW – MD Racing
  4. Michael RUTTER – BMW – Bathams Racing
  5. James HILLIER – Kawasaki – Quattro Plant / JG Speedfit
  6. Dean HARRISON – Kawasaki – Silicone Engineering Racing
  7. Lee JOHNSTON – Honda – Honda Racing
  8. Gary JOHNSON – Kawasaki – RAF Regular & Reserves
  9. Sam WEST – BMW – PRL Worthington
  10. Derek McGEE – Kawasaki – NJ Doyne / McGee Racing

SuperTwins

Juniper chicane was also the scene of a dramatic finale to the Supertwin event with James Cowton forcing his way past Joey Thompson on his McAdoo Kawasaki to take the win by 0.6 seconds.

Jeremy McWilliams took second in the Saturday Supersport race
Jeremy McWilliams took second in the Saturday Supersport race

20-year-old Thompson looked certain to claim his first North West win on the Paton as he led Cowton and Jeremy McWilliams (KMR Kawasaki) along the coast road on the final lap.

But a mistake by the youngster on the approach to Juniper was seized upon by Cowton and McWilliams also managed to squeeze through as the Paton rider floundered.

There are no less than 13 new entries into the top 40 in the Duke Road Race Rankings 2018 after the North West 200 – the first of the International road races of the season, with Alastair Seeley taking the highest place, slipping into third.

Current Rankings Champion Dean Harrison slots into sixth, with Honda ‘works’ rider Lee Johnston filling seventh spot. Another previous champion, James Cowton climbs 12 places to inherit 10th place, with 2013 winner Michael Dunlop rising seven spots to fourth.

Jeremy McWilliams 

“I’m pretty pleased with second place and it’s fair to say there’s been a big team effort on Ryan’s part to get us here so I owed him something in return! After missing the majority of Tuesday’s session, today has exceeded my expectations but the bike was strong, probably the strongest bike Ryan’s produced and it was just a shame Derek wasn’t out there as well as we could have had a 1-2 or a 1-3 finish. The leading pack was very strong, as was the Paton of Thompson, so it was a tough race and a relief to get onto the podium after such a close battle. We’re still making changes to the bike, as is often the case on a Friday at the North West, and we’re looking for that bit extra but all in all, I’m really happy and looking forward to Saturday’s race.”

Jeremy McWilliams 
Jeremy McWilliams

SuperTwin Result – Saturday

  1. James COWTON – Kawasaki – McAdoo Kawasaki Racing
  2. Jeremy McWILLIAMS – Kawasaki – KMR Kawasaki/IEG Racing
  3. Joey THOMPSON – Paton – Team ILR / Mark Coverdale
  4. Christian ELKIN – Kawasaki – Dynocentre NI
  5. Michael SWEENEY – Kawasaki – Kiely Heating Racing
  6. Victor LOPEZ – Kawasaki – Martimotos Racing
  7. Denver ROBB – Kawasaki
  8. Jonathan PERRY – Kawasaki – Jonathan Perry Racing
  9. Xavier DENIS – Kawasaki – Optimark Road Racing
  10. Marty LENNON – Kawasaki – Milne Racing
North West 200 - Supertwin Podium -
North West 200 – Supertwin Podium – McWilliams, Cowton, Thompson

SuperTwin Result -Thursday

  1. Martin JESSOPP – Kawasaki – Riders Motorcycles
  2. Jeremy McWILLIAMS – Kawasaki – KMR Kawasaki/IEG Racing
  3. Joey THOMPSON – Paton – Team ILR / Mark Coverdale
  4. Adam McLEAN – Kawasaki – Roy Hanna Motors
  5. James COWTON – Kawasaki – McAdoo Kawasaki Racing
  6. Christian ELKIN – Kawasaki – Dynocentre NI
  7. Victor LOPEZ – Kawasaki – Martimotos Racing
  8. Darren COOPER – Kawasaki – Team DCR
  9. Michael SWEENEY – Kawasaki – Kiely Heating Racing
  10. Denver ROBB – Kawasaki

North West 200 Tandragee 100

  1. Derek McGee – 394
  2. Adam McLean – 373
  3. Alastair Seeley – 316
  4. Michael Dunlop – 305
  5. Derek Sheils – 256
  6. Dean Harrison – 249
  7. Lee Johnston – 212
  8. Dan Kneen – 212
  9. Richard Ford – 210
  10. James Cowton – 209
  11. Michael Sweeney – 200
  12. Martin Jessopp – 189
  13. Glenn Irwin – 185
  14. James Hillier – 180
  15. Barry Davidson – 175
  16. Peter Hickman – 145
  17. Wayne Sheehan – 140
  18. Darryl Tweed – 131
  19. Jeremy McWilliams – 120
  20. Conor Cummins – 112
  21. Michael Rutter – 112
  22. Stephen Morrison – 108
  23. William Dunlop – 105
  24. Joe Loughlin – 105
  25. Barry Sheehan – 105
  26. Liam Chawke – 104
  27. Gary Johnson – 104
  28. Paul Robinson – 104
  29. Michael Browne – 101
  30. Joey Thompson – 96
  31. Gareth Keys – 85
  32. Brian Mateer – 85
  33. Dean Stimpson – 85
  34. Jamie O’Brien – 80
  35. Darren Cooper – 76
  36. Nigel Moore – 76
  37. Daniel Mettam – 75
  38. Gary Hutton – 72
  39. Tommy Henry – 69
  40. Christian Elkin – 64

ROAD RACING

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