Alastair Seeley got Saturday’s action underway at the North West 200 with yet another victory, his 23rd in total, as he took his second win of the week in the Supersport class, the EHA Racing Yamaha rider pulling away in the closing two laps to win from James Hillier (Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki) and Lee Johnston (Padgetts Honda).
The first two thirds of the race saw eight riders dispute the win but Seeley set a new lap record of 117.913mph on the final lap to win by a commanding 5.5s.
With the Causeway Coast again blessed with blue skies and sunshine, albeit with a fairly strong breeze coming off the land, it was Seeley who grabbed the holeshot only for Michael Dunlop to lead into Mathers and at the end of the lap it was all change again as the order read Dean Harrison, Seeley, Gary Johnson, Dunlop, Hillier and Martin Jessopp.
Johnson ran onto the kerbs at the start and finish chicane and by the time they reached Ballysally Roundabout, it was Hillier’s turn to lead and the Kawasaki rider was still in first as they flashed across the line to start lap three, Seeley just 0.1s adrift with Johnson, Johnston, Harrison and Dunlop close behind.
With just two seconds covering the top eight, positions were changing all the time with Hillier continuing to lead at University, before Johnston and then Seeley took their turn. At the end of the lap Seeley led Johnston by 0.278s from Hillier, Johnson, Dunlop and Harrison.
Johnson then ran wide at York Corner as he had to pick up the RAF Regular & Reserve Triumph to avoid Hillier and Johnston moved into the lead at the Juniper Chicane but the bunch were closing up further, now just 1.7s covering the top eight.
However, half way round lap five, Seeley began to make his now all too familiar move and the gap that covered the first eight was now the gap between the top two as the Carrickfergus rider pulled clear to leave the rest fighting it out.
And with the new lap record on the final lap, Seeley’s dominance of the class continued with yet another double. The battle for second went all the way to the line though with Hillier coming out on top for his second podium of the week and Johnston completing the rostrum in third. Harrison had to settle for fourth ahead of Dunlop, Jessopp, Conor Cummins and Johnson who dropped back on the final lap.
Dan Kneen and James Cowton completed the top ten.