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Seeley equals Joey Dunlop and Michael Rutter’s record at North West 200

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Author Topic: Seeley equals Joey Dunlop and Michael Rutter’s record at North West 200  (Read 186 times)
Mago
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« on: May 15, 2015, 01:43:53 am »

After dominating practice for the 2015 Vauxhall International North West 200, Alastair Seeley won the opening EventServ Supersport race in front of huge crowds on his Tyco Suzuki.

The 34 year old has now won 13 North West races, placing him on equal terms with the late Joey Dunlop and Michael Rutter with 13 wins on the 8.9 mile Triangle circuit.

The Carrickfergus rider set a new 600cc lap record of 117.077mph as he beat off challenges from North West newcomer Glenn Irwin on the Gear Link Kawasaki and Michael Dunlop on the MD Racing Yamaha to take the victory.

“Some people don’t rate the Suzuki but I like it.” Seeley said afterwards.

“It was a close race and Glenn was putting me under a bit of pressure there – and fair play to him on being up there with us on his first time around here! I’m sure he’s learned a fair bit sitting in there too. Track knowledge and experience did it for me though – Glenn was using the entire road!”

The young British Supersport championship contender had shown that he meant business when he said that he could win on his debut at

the seaside event by breaking through from the second row to lead at the start of the race. Seeley got the Suzuki’s nose in front before Irwin passed the Tyco man into Juniper Hill chicane on the second lap. Seeley retook the lead on the exit from the start and finish chicane but what appeared to be going to be a great dogfight of a race came to an abrupt end when Irwin went out of the race between Station and University with an engine problem.

It was left to Michael Dunlop to make a race of it with Seeley on his MD Racing machine but the Yamaha didn’t have the pace to stay with the Suzuki, finishing 7.5 seconds adrift.

Lee Johnston put a poor practice on his ECC/Burdens Triumph behind him to take the final podium position after catching and overtaking Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Valvoline Honda.

“To be fair, everything worked really well.” Seeley reflected afterwards.

“The Metzeler tyres were good and we weren’t sliding much – we’re testing a new tyre this week and I’m really happy with it. I was able to come out of places like Metropole, spin it and hook it first, the thing was so stable. That meant in places like the chicanes and on the Coast Road we were able to just pull out a little bit every time.”

Ryan Farquhar made it a double for the local riders as the Dungannon man took victory in the Supertwins event. Staring from pole Farquhar steered his SGS/KMR Kawasaki into a lead that he held until Metropole on the final lap when his team mate Jeremy McWilliams dived up the inside.

But wily Farquhar went underneath the former Grand Prix star and held on until the chequered flag to win on his comeback to full-time racing.

“I knew Jeremy was going to have a go – I just didn’t know where.” Farquhar laughed as McWilliams celebrated in the winners’ enclosure.

“It was a fantastic race and just to get on the podium is good, but it’s a dream come true – and having Jeremy beside me is just fantastic!”

Anticipation was high for the final Spidi Superstock race amongst the hordes of fans enjoying the evening sunshine. Sadly the race came to an abrupt end after just one lap when Sandor Bitter crashed the T&R Motorsport BMW at Ballysally roundabout. The Hungarian was taken to Causeway hospital for a check up although he did not sustain any serious injury in the crash. With the roads having to re-open at 8.45pm there was insufficient time to re-start the race which the organisers have announced will now be run on Saturday.
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