Glenn Irwin, riding his BeerMonster Ducati Panigale V4 R, won both Superbike races Saturday at the North West 200 in Northern Ireland. The victories were Irwin’s seventh and eighth-consecutive Superbike victories at the event, according to a press release issued by his team.
Alastair Seeley followed up his win in Superstock Race One on May 11 with another win in Saturday’s Superstock Race Two on his SYNETIQ BMW M 1000 RR. It was 43-year-old Seeley’s 29th career win at the North West 200.
Davey Todd won Supersport Race Two on a Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles Honda CBR600RR, completing a sweep of both Supersport race wins at the event.
Richard Cooper won both of Saturday’s Supertwin races on his KMR Kawasaki ER6 (a.k.a. Ninja 650).
JMcC Roofing Racing’s American rider Patricia Fernandez-West finished 35th in Superbike Race One, 26th in Superbike Race Two, and 29th in Superstock Race Two on her Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. She also placed 22nd in Supersport Race Two on her Yamaha YZF-R6.
Fernandez-West’s teammate and husband Cory West, riding a Kawasaki ER6, finished 10th and seventh in Supertwin Race One and Race Two, respectively. West was also recognized as “Fastest Newcomer.”
Update: American Chris Sarbora riding a Moto-Hub.co.uk BMW, finished 17th and 24th in Superbike Race One and Two, respectively, and 24th in Superstock Race Two on Saturday. On Thursday, Sarbora took 30th in Superstock Race One.
Editorial Note: The PDFs of the race results below include results from each class for the entire event. So, you must scroll down several pages, just past the grid sheets, to see the results from Saturday’s races.
More, from a press release issued by NW200 Press Office:
GLENN IRWIN CLOSES IN ON NW200 SUPERBIKE RECORD
Glenn Irwin’s domination of superbike racing at the fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils North West 200 continued unabated last weekend when the 33 year old steered his PBM/Beer Monster Ducati V4 to victory in both of the premier class races.
That double means Irwin is the winner of the last eight superbike races at the event, a tally just one shy of the record of nine Superbike victories at the meeting shared by the late Joey Dunlop and Michael Rutter.
An off by Gerald Dath in the first race and separate crashes by James Hillier and Mike Browne in the second brought out the red flags after only three of the scheduled laps had been completed in each race.
Irwin was battling Davey Todd and Dean Harrison in the first encounter with only 1.5 secs covering the trio before Alastair Seeley was forced out of the race on the second lap with an overheating engine on his Milwaukee BMW- but not before a close encounter with Irwin at the Magic Roundabout.
“Glenn has come up the inside and has caught the wing.” Seeley explained.
“It was a bit of a risky move going into a high speed corner.”
Michael Dunlop set the fastest lap of the race at 122.712mph as he moved into the lead at Metropole on lap two on his new Hawk Racing Honda. A lap later he had retired.
Irwin, who later apologised to his Carrickfergus neighbour for the wing encounter, was holding off Todd and Harrison when the race was stopped. Victory came as a relief for the current BSB championship leader after Tuesday and Thursday’s troubled qualifying sessions with his Ducati.
“When I came here this week I knew what I wanted and I knew what we had.” Irwin, who limits his racing to the Superbike races at the North West, explained.
“It wasn’t what I wanted but to be fair to the boys they’ve went outside the budget to get me what I needed.”
“On Thursday I felt like I was riding like a maniac and I could never win the race. Today I felt like I was riding at 70%, pushing hard on some corners but I felt in control.”
With his confidence boosted by that win, Irwin was locked in battle with Seeley, Dunlop and Dean Harrison on the third lap of the second race when James Hillier’s crash brought out the red flags. The race was restarted and the Ducati rider moved into the lead at Mather’s chicane, crossing the line 1.06 seconds ahead of Seeley when the red flags came out for a second time after Mike Browne’s crash.
After some initial confusion and a lengthy wait as officials struggled to deal with red flags, opening roads and finalising the result, the local hero was finally declared the winner. Joining his jubilant fans in the packed grandstands for some crowd surfing duly followed.
“It’s an amazing feeling.” a relieved Irwin smiled after having spent the previous few weeks telling anyone who would listen that he would win big at his home race this year.
“It’s been a tough week.” he admitted.
“I’ve come in the best form ever and the guys gave me a great bike today.”
SEELEY’S SYNETIQ SMILE
Alastair Seeley’s rejuvenated racing career shows no sign of slowing down as the North West 200’s most successful racer notched up more wins and lap records at this year’s event.
The 43 year old has re-entered the British Superstock 1000 fray this season and is running at the front of the pack on the Synetiq BMW. Bringing that bike and pace to Portrush, Seeley smashed the lap record and claimed victory in both of this year’s NW200 stocker races.
The former double British champion added win number 28 and added the new 124.427mph record to his NW200 CV in the Thursday evening race, leading Davey Todd and his Milenco Padgett’s Honda home by a huge 10.3 seconds.
It also marked Seeley’s 15th victory around the 8.9 mile Northern Ireland roads circuit with Hector and Philip Neill’s TAS Racing team, the Moneymore-based squad that had prepared his machine.
“It is a match made in heaven.” Seeley smiled.
“It’s a great team, they are a great bunch of guys with a big family atmosphere and this year we are very happy and I keep saying a happy rider is a fast rider.”
Todd, the reigning British Superstock champion, held off Michael Dunlop and his MD Racing Honda by 0.3 seconds with Dean Harrison 20 seconds further back on the DAO Racing Kawasaki.
Earlier in the evening Seeley had to settle for second to Todd as he made his debut on the Powertoolmate Ducati V2 machine in the Supersport event. The Ulsterman had the consolation of setting a new Supersport lap record at 118.066mph as he finished 0.1 second behind the Milenco Padgett’s Honda.
Seeley then lost that record to Peter Hickman in Saturday’s Supersport race who raised the bar to 118.273mph as the Ducati racer finished sixth. His 29th North West win came in the Superstock contest as he took the lead on the opening lap and raised his two day old lap record to 124.484mph to lead Michael Dunlop home by 0.7 seconds from Dean Harrison. A runner-up finish in the feature Superbike race behind Glenn Irwin topped off a brilliant week for the diminutive veteran who revelled in his victories.
“They just keep coming.” Seeley smiled as he closes in on a 30th victory at the seaside event, double the number of the second most successful NW200 racer, the late, Robert Dunlop.
Davey Todd showed why he is road racing’s hottest prospect as he scored a brilliant Supersport double at the NW200 on his Milenco Padgett’s Honda. The 27 year old came out on top in a brilliant four way battle during Thursday evening’s first 600cc race with only 1.31 seconds covering the first six riders at the chequered flag.
Todd prevailed by 0.108 seconds over Alastair Seeley (Powertoolmate Ducati) ahead of Richard Cooper (BPE Russell Yamaha), Michael Dunlop (MD Racing Honda) and Dean Harrison (BPE Russell Yamaha).
It was Todd’s second NW200 win, his first coming in a wet 600cc race in 2019. Last year he had to settle for the runner-up spot four times.
“I didn’t want to let that one slip away.” he said after the thrilling battle.
“It was really hard to judge on the last lap but I’m over the moon and that’s a dream. I have a win in the wet on the 600 but this really means a lot.”
The lap record was broken in both North West Supersport races this year, first by Alastair Seeley in the opening race and then by Peter Hickman in the second as Todd doubled up after another frantic Supersport battle on Saturday. The English rider got the better of Richard Cooper again to take the win by 0.2 seconds with Peter Hickman third on the Trooper Beer Triumph and Dean Harrison fourth. Only 0.539 seconds covered the first four as they crossed the line.
“This one is even better.” Todd smiled after the fierce battle.
“I got a taste of winning on Thursday and I knew I was strong on the bike. The boys were going so hard, I wasn’t sure I was going to do it. I just about hung on and holding these guys off is hard. Each time someone came past me I tried to bite back and that’s the hardest I’ve rode here.”
Twelve months ago Richard Cooper’s North West 200 dream turned into a nightmare when the Nottingham racer’s Supertwin double was cancelled out because of a technical infringement on his KMR Kawasaki.
The Englishman unexpectedly rejoined the Dungannon bike builder in a last minute deal for this year’s event after the Bathams R7 Yamaha he had intended to race failed to materialise. Both Twins races were run on Saturday and Cooper dominated, setting a new lap record at 112.251mph to win the first encounter as he led local racers Paul Jordan (Prez Racing Kawasaki) and Adam McLean (JMcC Roofing Kawasaki) home.
McLean repeated his third place performance in the second event with 59 year old Jeremy McWilliams (Bayview Paton) finishing second, 4.8 seconds behind Cooper who had finally cancelled out the disappointment of 12 months ago.
“I had moved on but it was more difficult for Ryan.” Cooper explained.
“I told him the only way to get over it was to win so this is for Ryan and his family and I want to see a smile on his face.”
Cooper also enjoyed two podium finishes in the 600cc races with the BPE/Russell Racing Yamaha squad, finishing third in the Thursday race behind Davey Todd and Alastair Seeley before pushing Todd hard as he finished second in Saturday’s race.
DUNLOP AND HARRISON IMPRESS
Michael Dunlop and Dean Harrison posted a series of impressive North West 200 results this year ahead of next month’s TT races.
The Ballymoney man has switched to Honda power for the big bike classes this season, running a Hawk Racing Honda in the Superbike division alongside a stock spec Fireblade and R6 Yamaha in his own MD Racing colours.
He might not have won any races at this year’s NW200 but he was running at the front of the pack in all the races he contested.
Posting the fastest Superbike lap during the opening practice session, he finished in the top five in every race he started except the first Superbike event, when he was forced to retire because of issues with his rear Dunlop tyre. His best performances came in the two Superstock races where he was second and third on the MD Racing Honda.
Harrison claimed third place finishes on the DAO Racing Kawasakis in both of Saturday’s Superbike events plus a third and fourth in the two Superstock races. He also finished fourth and fifth on the BPE/Russell Yamaha R6 in both 600cc races at the seaside event.
“I felt most comfortable on the Superbike.” Harrison said.
“I am riding it the most and it was the same bike I ride at BSB. I felt like I was always there in both races. It was a shame the races were cut short because there was nothing in it between us and I had more to give.”
FHO RACING CONTROVERSY
The blistering race action at this year’s NW200 was overshadowed by the exclusion of the FHO Racing BMW team from Thursday evening’s Superstock race and the squad’s subsequent withdrawal from the event.
The team had run foul of the Motorcycling Union of Ireland rule book which prohibits the use of carbon fibre wheels fitted on the M1000RRs of Peter Hickman and Josh Brookes. Team principal, Faye Ho, immediately pulled her squad out of the event in protest.
The North West organisers responded by pointing out the ban on carbon fibre wheels is clearly stated in the event’s regulations.
“We thought the rules were the same but found out too late that they were not.” Peter Hickman, who remained at the meeting to compete on his own Supertwin and Supersport-spec machinery, later explained.
“As far as we as a team are concerned, we just want consistency.”
The real losers though were the NW200 fans. They were deprived of seeing the FHO BMW duo in action against Irwin, Seeley and Co in the Stocker and Superbike events, a prospect made even more mouth-watering after Brookes had raised Bruce Anstey’s fastest ever speed trap time of 209.8 mph to an incredible 212.4 mph during the final Superbike qualifying session.
DUNLOP TYRE WOES CONTINUE
Previously dominant in road racing, the Dunlop Tyre company suffered a nightmare at last year’s NW200 when tyres on Peter Hickman, Michael Dunlop and Davey Todd’s machines all delaminated at high speed. Problems resurfaced with the Dunlop rubber at this year’s event, forcing some Dunlop runners to request the organisers cut the race distance from six to five laps for the second Superstock and feature Superbike races.
NW200 INJURY TOLL
The current leader of the British Supersport series, Lee Johnston, suffered serious injuries when he crashed his Ashcourt Yamaha at Church corner during qualifying. The English-based Ulsterman was airlifted to hospital with a broken shoulder and femur.
New Honda signing, Nathan Harrison broke his wrist and collarbone when he crashed out of the Superstock race later the same day at Dhu Varren, ruining the young Manx hopeful’s TT start alongside veteran teammate, John McGuinness.
Michael Sweeney is another TT doubtful after crashing at the same spot in the opening Supertwin race on Saturday, breaking vertebrae, his collarbone and dislocating a knee.
Conor Cummins was ruled out of Saturday’s North West action on his Padgett’s Honda after damaging his knee when he clouted a kerb at Ballysally roundabout in Thursday’s Superstock race and both North West newcomer, Mike Browne and James Hillier escaped serious injury in crashes at Juniper Hill chicane.