“Every boy has his dreams and this was my boyhood dream come true.”
That was Alastair Seeley’s reaction after winning the opening Supersport race on the Gear Link Kawasaki at the 2016 North West 200 to chalk up his 16th victory at the Northern Ireland event and become the most successful rider of all-time. In a week of glorious sunshine, the British Superbike series star went on to add a second Supersport victory and a new 600cc lap record to his NW200 CV on Saturday’s main race day.
The local racer had equalled the late Robert Dunlop’s tally of 15 wins last season.
“The last few years have all been about the record.” a relieved Seeley said.
“Every boy has his dreams and this was my boyhood dream come true.”“I didn’t arrive here thinking I had it in the bag so I’ve studied and watched other riders and in the races I was still analysing and studying positions on track and people’s machinery. Where I was strong, where I was weak and where the others were strong and weak. It takes a lot to actually win here but you also need a lot of luck and I think I’ve had my fair share.”
Michael Dunlop was the winner of the only Superbike race to be run at the event on his Hawk Racing BMW. The 11 times TT winner broke the outright lap record set by Josh Brookes in 2014 during his NW200 debut year. Dunlop also finished fifth on his MD Racing BMW in the Superstock race.
“It was good to go out on the superbike and prove that we can still win races.” a delighted Dunlop said.
“It was tight but I did a lap record on my own, no towing, no slip streaming, no nothing.”
Dunlop’s arch TT rival, Ian Hutchinson, was runner up in the superbike event but the Yorkshireman had his revenge in the Superstock race when he took victory after Alastair Seeley ran wide on his Briggs BMW at Metropole on the final lap.
In what he described as “his best day ever at the North West 200”, the 36 year old wasn’t surprised by his success.
“It went as I was expecting it to as it has gone pretty smoothly since I got on the Tyco bikes.” he smiled.
“We’ve not really struggled with anything and everything was going really well. It was the easiest and best North West I’ve ever had really.”
“It went as I was expecting it to as it has gone pretty smoothly since I got on the Tyco bike, Hutchy”Hutchy was the victor in the best race of the day with seven riders battling for the lead at one stage during the stock event. It all came down to a last lap braking battle between the Bingley man and North West specialist,
Alastair Seeley on the Briggs BMW at Metropole corner with Hutchy coming out on top.
“I haven’t done that much racing around here over the last five years.” he explained.
“The last thing I was going to do was leave myself open to getting nicked at the end. I rode totally different this year and I was able to do that because the bikes were so strong. I knew what I had underneath me for the last lap and I knew I could make a plan and make it work.”
Ivan Lintin was the winner of both Supertwins races on the Devitt’s RC Express Kawasaki.
Racing was abandoned before the feature Superbike and second Superstock races were run following a fatal accident involving 20 year old Malachi Mitchell-Thomas in Saturday’s Supertwins race. The English rider succumbed to his injuries after sliding off his Burrows Engineering Kawasaki in Portrush.