Author: Bike Social Sports Reporter Posted: 16 May 2014
Alastair Seeley got off to a dream start at the North West 200 last night taking victory in both the first Supersport and Superstock races. Neither win came easy for the Ulsterman though after a tough start in the Supersport race before being charged to the line in the Superstock later on.
Starting from pole, drama struck for Seeley early on the first lap as Lee Johnston crashed out pushing the Mar-Train Yamaha man wide and back into the pack. Impressively it was Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes, who started sixth on the grid, crossing the line in first place at the end of the first lap ahead of the Smith Triumphs pairing of Gary Johnson and Michael Rutter with the Tyco Suzukis of William Dunlop and Guy Martin also in tow.
The top six swapped paintwork and positions for two laps, with around two seconds separating the pack. Brookes and Johnson controlled the lead but the battle amongst the top three allowed Martin, Dunlop and Mar-Train Yamaha’s Dean Harrison to keep in touch.
Guy Martin shot into the lead for the first time on the fifth lap but Alastair Seeley was closing in on the leaders corner by corner, eventually taking the lead on the penultimate lap. A mistake from Josh Brookes saw him pushing Gary Johnson wide on the sixth lap leaving Seeley and Martin to go at it for the lead.
Backmarkers came into play towards the end of the lap meaning Seeley could gap the Lincolnshireman and crossed the line just over a second ahead. Josh Brookes completed the podium despite having not ridden a 600cc bike since 2009 with William Dunlop in fourth from Keith Amor and Gary Johnson.
However a late ruling from race direction issued Gary Johnson and Keith Amor a ten second penalty for overshooting Mather’s Cross chicane on the final lap, Amor retained position but Johnson was switched in the standings with team mate Michael Rutter.
Carrying the momentum through to the Superstock race, Seeley shot off the start-line to take an early lead followed by a chasing pack of BMWs lead by Michael Rutter. Martin Jessopp got the better of his BMW rival mid-way round the first lap and began to chase down Seeley. The Ulsterman was 0.3sec in the lead across the line from Jessopp, Andrews, Rutter, Michael Dunlop and Conor Cummins.
Rutter made progress on the second lap only to be punted wide by Andrews at York Corner as he and Michael Dunlop forced their way through the pack to chase down the Mar-Train Kawasaki. Four seconds down at the end of the second lap, Rutter reduced Seeley’s lead to just 0.5seconds by the end of the fourth before taking the lead for the first time at University on the penultimate lap. It looked as though it’d be a two-man scrap for the win, until backmarkers slowed the pair allowing Michael Dunlop to catch up on his MD Racing S 1000 RR.
Seeing his chance, Dunlop shot straight to the lead but the superior pace of Rutter and Seeley got the better of him on the last lap, leaving Dunlop to settle for third. Having been strong at the end of the last three laps, Rutter would face a tough challenge to beat the ‘Wee Wizard’ in the final few corners, eventually crossing the line under half a second behind the ZX10R. Martin Jessopp took fourth ahead of a strong ride from Austrian Horst Saiger. Simon Andrews was sixth ahead of Conor Cummins and Guy Martin. Fastest newcomer, Peter Hickman was ninth ahead of William Dunlop’s Tyco Suzuki.
Lee Johnston took victory in the day’s Supertwin race ahead of Ivan Lintin and James Cowton. James Hillier took fourth ahead of Jamie Hamilton and Ryan Farquhar. Jeremy McWilliams finished eighth.
SUPERSPORT RACE RESULT:
1) A. SEELEY – MarTrain Yamaha
2) G. MARTIN – Tyco Suzuki
3) J. BROOKES – Milwaukee Yamaha
4) W. DUNLOP – Tyco Suzuki
5) K. AMOR – Rig Deluge Honda
6) M. RUTTER – Smiths Triumph
7) G. JOHNSON – Smiths Triumph
8) B. ANSTEY – Valvoline Racing by Padgetts
9) D. COOPER – Tsingtao Kawasaki
10) J. HILLIER – Quattro-Plant Kawasaki
SUPERSTOCK RACE RESULT:
1) A. SEELEY – MarTrain Kawasaki
2) M. RUTTER – Bathams BMW
3) Michael Dunlop – MD Racing BMW
4) M. JESSOPP – Riders BMW
5) H. SAIGER – Saiger Kawasaki
6) S. ANDREWS – Penz13.com BMW
7) C. CUMMINS – RAF Reserves Honda
8) G. MARTIN – Tyco Suzuki
9) P. HICKMAN – Ice Valley BMW
10) W. DUNLOP – Tyco Suzuki