A truly dominant performance by Alastair Seeley saw the Tyco BMW rider claim victory in a damp Superbike race at the North West 200, the Ulsterman winning his 20th race at the Triangle circuit by over 21 seconds from Michael Rutter and Lee Johnston.
“It was a hard race as it started damp but dried up quickly as the race wore on,” he said in parc ferme. “I had to try and manage the tyre and was struggling a bit for grip at the beginning and broadsiding on the approach to Magherabuoy at close to 170mph certainly got the attention. I was worried about cooking the tyre but started to find some grip and managed the slides as best I could.”
A combination of rain and oil from Michael Dunlop’s Bennetts Suzuki along the coast road led to a lengthy delay with the race eventually getting underway at 3.00pm and cut from seven laps to four with Rutter taking the lead off the line on the Bathams/SMT Racing BMW.
He was soon overhauled by the Tyco BMW’s of Seeley and Ian Hutchinson but whilst the latter dropped back to an eventual tenth, Seeley hit the front on the approach to University and was never headed, lapping more than five seconds a lap quicker than anyone else.
Rutter soon re-took second and although Johnston got to within three seconds, he pulled clear on the final lap to finish some 6.4s ahead of the Jackson Racing Honda rider.
Glenn Irwin weaved his way to fourth on the Be Wiser Ducati as he overhauled Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) on the final run to Metropole with Derek Sheils holding onto sixth throughout on the Cookstown BE Racing Suzuki.
Further back, a three-rider battle for seventh eventually went the way of Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) from James Hillier (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) and Horst Saiger (saiger-racing.com Kawasaki), just three tenths of a second covering the trio at the chequered flag.