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NW200: William Dunlop wins first Supersport race

William Dunlop gave Wilson Craig Racing their first ever International road race victory with a highly impressive performance in the first Supersport race at today's North West 200. The Honda rider grabbed the lead on the run to University on the opening lap and opened up a three-second lead over second placed Alastair Seeley and although the Suzuki rider pulled this back to under a second going into the final lap, the race was stopped prematurely when Guy Martin crashed at high speed on the exit of Dhu Varren, fortunately without injury.

"It was very hard work," said Dunlop "and the red flag worked in my favour as I'd ran onto the grass at the chicane on the fifth lap and that allowed Alastair to close right in. He actually nipped through at York and I had no real idea or plan on how to tackle him on the final lap but with the red flag the result went back to the end of the fourth lap and I got the win. It's a great start to the day and obviously I'm delighted to give Wilson his first International win."

It was Seeley who grabbed the holeshot as John McGuinness squeezed by Martin at York Corner to grab second. However, Dunlop got a great run out of Station Corner and took the lead going into University, going on to complete the first lap just over a second clear. This became 1.8s at the end of the second lap with Seeley and McGuinness close together in second and third and comfortably clear of Cameron Donald and Gary Johnson. Michael Dunlop was in sixth with Bruce Anstey and Martin back in seventh and eighth.


Dunlop continued to press home his advantage and extended his lead to 2.6s at the end of lap three as Seeley still found himself under extreme pressure from McGuinness on the Padgetts Honda. They were over three seconds clear of Donald and Johnson who were enjoying a good dice for fourth as Michael Dunlop stayed in sixth. Martin had got ahead of Anstey with Dan Kneen, Ben Wylie and Ian Hutchinson battling it out for ninth.

The gap stayed the same on lap four but by the end of the fifth lap Seeley had pulled away from McGuinness and was only 0.7s behind Dunlop after his mistake at the chicane. It was shaping up to be a thrilling final lap but with the red flag coming out, the result went back to the end of the fourth lap and that gave Dunlop his third North West 200 win and his first on a four-stroke.

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