NW200 Race Report

North West 200 News

PACEMAKER BELFAST  13/05/2016
Glenn Irwin celebrates victory in the Superbike North West 200 feature race at todays Vauxhall International North West 200.
Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

The 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 came to a dramatic end as Glenn Irwin claimed his first victory at the north coast venue in the feature superbike race. The BSB racer got the better of Alastair Seeley in a thrilling last lap dice between the Be Wiser/PBM Ducati and Tyco BMW stars.
Irwin had led from the start of the seven lap race but wasn’t able to make a break from Tyco BMW pair Ian Hutchinson and teammate, Seeley. The trio traded places at over 200mph on every circuit with the climax coming on the coast road section on the final lap.
27 year old Irwin led into Metropole before Seeley slipped past on the approach to Church Bend, giving the diminutive racer the advantage as the duo headed into the run for the chequered flag. But the Ducati man wasn’t giving up and Irwin forced his way past the Tyco BMW over Black Hill and kept the door shut on Seeley through the final Juniper chicane to take the win.
Irwin’s ecstatic celebrations in front of the packed grandstands at the finish line showed how much his maiden victory meant to the 27 year old.
“This was the script that I wanted.” Irwin said as he downed a pint of Guinness in celebration.
“It is a dream come true for me. I had only 11 laps of practice and the first big bike race was wet but I got the dry race I had been hoping for and I won it.”
Irwin’s victory stopped the Seeley victory juggernaut at this year’s NW200 in its tracks. The 37 year old had won the Supersport, Superstock and opening Superbike races to make it three wins on the day and four in total at the meeting after his Superstock victory on Thursday evening.
“Every win is special for me at the North West.” Seeley said.
“I try to maintain continuity here and have the same machinery and teams each year. Gearlink Kawasaki and Tyco BMW give me the bikes and I am the jockey who sits on them and does the business.”
Seeley won the three Saturday races in conditions made difficult by heavy rain showers that forced the organisers to call a two hour delay in the middle of the day. The 37 year old used every ounce of his 13 years of experience of racing around the 8.9 mile Triangle circuit to claim his hat-trick and bring his total tally of North West victories to 21.
Both Seeley and Irwin hail from the same Co Antrim town of Carrickfergus and he was magnanimous in defeat after the superbike race to his neighbour and former training partner.
“Glenn came here with the confidence of having finished on BSB podiums this season so I knew he would be competitive. He was the best man on the day.”
Veteran Michael Rutter was the winner of the day’s fifth race, the Supertwins event, on a KMR Kawasaki prepared by Ryan Farquhar who had been seriously injured at last year’s North West.

PACEMAKER BELFAST 13/05/2016 Alastair Seeley is presented with his Man of the Meeting trophy by Race Director Mervyn Whyte MBE at todays Vauxhall International North West 200. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 13/05/2016
Alastair Seeley is presented with his Man of the Meeting trophy by Race Director Mervyn Whyte MBE at todays Vauxhall International North West 200.
Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press