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2016 North West 200: Superstock race one win for Hutchinson

Ian Hutchinson ended Alastair Seeley’s dominance of the 2016 North West 200 with victory in a titanic Superstock race on Saturday afternoon. The Tyco BMW rider slipped back to fifth but put himself in the right position at the right time to claim his third NW200 victory ahead of Peter Hickman and Alastair Seeley.

“That’s made my day – and hopefully the team’s!”, he said afterwards. “It’s fast out there today with the weather conditions and I felt like a mathematician trying to work out the laps and where I needed to be. I was strong through Station, taking it flat out in top, and I was able to get a good run along there each lap. With two laps to go, I started to get myself in a good position and it all worked out well. I’ve loved riding this bike from day one and it’s nice to win again – six years is a long time to wait!”

The race was initially delayed due to a security alert at Ballysally and when it was restarted it was only one and a half laps old when it was halted due to a spill involving James Hillier at University, fortunately with no injury to the rider. Martin Jessopp was also out having come off at Magherabuoy on the warm up lap.


Restarted over five laps, Seeley grabbed the lead from Rutter and Hickman but Rutter took over at University before Seeley reclaimed the advantage at Mathers Cross. That set the tone for the race as no less than seven riders disputed the victory – Rutter, Seeley, Hickman, Hutchinson, Michael Dunlop, Lee Johnston and Gary Johnson.

Lap two and Hutchinson took over and initially tried to make a break but it wasn’t possible and although he led at the end of the lap, the rest of the group were still all glued together. Seeley was down to fourth with Dunlop behind him but the latter soon began to make his move.

Hickman squeezed by on the exit of Mill Road Roundabout before Hutchinson retaliated and it was hard to keep track of the constant changing of positions! It was Rutter’s turn to lead at Mathers Cross with Dunlop up to second, Seeley third, Hickman fourth and Hutchinson down to fifth.

On the penultimate lap, Dunlop hit the front, cheekily waving at Rutter – at 200mph – and he set a new lap record to give himself a great chance of victory. However, the last lap saw him shuffled back to fifth and it seemed as if Seeley was going to do his usual trick and be ahead at Metropole.

However, when he went up the inside of Hutchinson, he ran wide and dropped back to third with the Tyco rider having a clear run to the line, also setting a new lap record of 122.702mph on his final circuit.. Hickman took his second podium of the day with Seeley, Rutter, Dunlop and Johnston close behind.

Johnson dropped off the pace in the closing stages to take seventh with Jeremy McWilliams, Horst Saiger and David Johnson completing the top ten.

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