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2022 NW200: Seeley wins four-lap Supersport thriller

Alastair Seeley put in another masterclass of riding at the North West 200 on Thursday evening, the IFS Racing Yamaha rider getting the better of Davey Todd (Milenco by Padgetts Honda) for his 25th victory at the event. Jeremy McWilliams (Burrows by RK Racing Yamaha) completed the podium in third.

With wet and cold conditions all around the 8.9-mile circuit, Seeley led the field into York Corner from Todd but by Ballysally Roundabout, the latter led from James Hillier (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) with Seeley dropping back to third.

Seeley was soon up into second and he went into the lead along the coast road, crossing the line ahead of Todd, front row man Adam McLean (McAdoo Racing Kawasaki), McWilliams, Hillier and Dean Harrison. Michael Dunlop, Conor Cummins, Mark Purslow and Matthew Rees completed the top ten with fancied runners Lee Johnston back in 12th and Ian Hutchinson down in 12th.


However, with the second wave still completing their opening lap, the red flag came out due a rider coming off, without injury, at the Magherabuoy chicane and leaving debris on the track.

With the rain getting heavier, the race was restarted over the shorter distance of four laps, minus Johnston and Hutchinson who opted out, and it was Todd on this occasion who led the field round York Corner.

The Padgetts man was never headed on the opening lap and started lap two ahead of Seeley, McWilliams and McLean, the quartet covered by less than a second. Hillier lay in fifth ahead of Cummins, Harrison, Rees, Joseph Loughlin and Xavier Denis. Dunlop, meanwhile, pulled in to retire.

Seeley and McWilliams both overhauled Todd on the second run towards York Corner but Todd was back in front by the time they reached the Roundabout. However, Seeley took the lead at the Metropole and led Todd across the line, the duo edging away from McWilliams and McLean.

Cummins was now up to fifth from Hillier whilst Frenchman Pierre Yves Bian was now running in sixth on the road but a 10s penalty for going straight on at the Mathers Chicane meant he was back in tenth on corrected time.

Todd’s straight-line speed helped get him into the lead on the run to University on lap three and he held it all the way until the Juniper Chicane when Seeley just had enough room to squeeze by. He led by 1.1s across the line with McWilliams and McLean tucked in behind but the latter then ran onto the grass and dropped back.

Seeley’s move at Juniper gave him the breathing space he needed on the final lap and he duly took the win by just under two seconds from Todd with McWilliams in third. McLean took fourth ahead of Cummins who had a lonely ride into fifth.

Harrison finished sixth and although Bian crossed the line in seventh, his penalty meant he dropped back to tenth and that meant it was Hillier who took seventh from Rees and Loughlin.

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