After winning Thursday night’s Superstock race at the North West 200 International Road Races, Alastair Seeley was beginning to think the main race day was never going to go his way. Seeley was competing in three different classes, Superbike, Superstock and Supersport, and a total of five races in a packed Saturday schedule on the Northern Irish road circuit. Three races in and he’d scored three second places, losing out to William Dunlop, John McGuinness and Michael Rutter. Then came Supersport race 2…
“I knew I needed to hold onto the fast Honda of William Dunlop. I couldn’t make a break, so I thought, Last lap, let’s go. We got onto the coast road, and a backmarker came into play and I did the same move that I did on Stuart Easton in 2010 Superbike race, up the inside at Church. I think [Dunlop and I] rubbed elbows but there was nothing malicious in it. It was nice to get that first win of the day and go into the second Superbike race with some confidence.”
Superbike race 2, the North West 200 feature race, saw the world’s greatest road racers battle for six laps of the 8.9-mile (14.3km) circuit. At the NW200, riders slipstream at speeds in excess of 205mph before braking for first gear corners and chicanes. In a tense, tough race Seeley eventually gapped John McGuinness and Michael Rutter to take the win.
“It just shows that dreams can come true if you work hard enough,” said Seeley. The Irish rider has proven himself to be one of the NW200 greats with a haul of three wins and three second places from six starts this year. These are added to his previous five NW200 wins.
The story wasn’t so good for his Tyco Suzuki team-mates, Guy Martin and Conor Cummins. Guy crashed heavily in the first Supersport race of the day, while in seventh place, and his team boss took the decision for Guy to sit out the rest of the day’s races.
“I’m disappointed to miss out on the meeting and pretty frustrated as I didn’t feel I was doing anything wrong when I tucked the front, even though the bike does get a bit unsettled through that bumpy section,” Guy said later. “I had a really stiff neck after the crash and I had taken a bit of a battering so it was best to sit it out. I’ll be grand for the TT.”
Meanwhile, Conor Cummins, who was competing in Superstock and Superbike classes, was scoring solid finishes, when he was crashed into by another rider in the final race of the day. “It was good to get back onto the roads but a bit frustrating for me as I felt I had good pace in that second Superbike race, only to get wiped out by another rider turning into Mather’s Cross Chicane,” explained Conor. “I’ve got a few bumps and bruises we can sort and I’ll get back to the Isle of Man and relax this week before the start of the TT.”
Seeley is in action in the British Superbike championship at Snetterton this weekend, while Guy and Conor start practice for the 2012 Isle of Man TT on Monday 28 May.