The 2011 North West 200
proved an incident-plagued affair. Poor weather, an oil spill and bomb scare created long delays and spoiled the planned five-race program. Instead TAS Suzuki’s Alastair Seeley was the lone victor on Saturday, the Irishman taking the first Supersport race ahead of Wilson Craig Honda rider Cameron Donald.
Alastair Seeley was the lone victor at an incident plagued 2011 North West 200.
The forecast rain arrived as expected on Saturday, and the opening Supersport race was shortened from six to five laps as a result. Seeley took the win ahead of Donald by a slim 0.844 margin. The two front-runners finished well ahead of the third-place rider, NW and IOMTT vet Bruce Anstey, the Kiwi rider campaigning this year for Padgetts Honda (Anstey and Donald former TAS Suzuki riders alongside Seeley). Michael Dunlop placed fourth in the opening race with his Street Sweep Yamaha, followed by Honda riders Gary Johnson and Dunlop’s elder sibling, William.
Following the Supersport race, the paddock area was evacuated owing to a “security alert.” The delay was later determined to be a hoax. The Superbike race was started, though a live BBC report stated several key riders, including Guy Martin and pole setter Michael Rutter, did not participate owing to the deteriorating conditions. The Superbike race was later red-flagged, due to an oil spill on the road course.
After numerous delays and attempts to clean the oil, officials cancelled the remaining four races. In an official statement NW200 Technical Director Mervyn Whyte MBE said, “This is obviously extremely disappointing for everyone, riders, spectators, sponsors and the hundreds of volunteers who have worked tirelessly towards this day. Unfortunately the fact is that the oil spill was just too extensive to clean up to ensure an optimum level of safety for the riders. Despite repeated efforts by the cleanup team the affected stretch of road was just still in too dangerous a condition to continue racing.
“Combined with the delays caused by a hoax security alert and the inclement weather it has been a challenging day. Despite this we enjoyed a very close run Supersport Race 1 which was won by local rider Alastair Seeley. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this year’s Relentless International NW200, for their patience and support today and we look forward to running a full program next year.”
2011 North West 200 Supersport Race 1 Results:
1. Alastair Seeley (Suzuki)
2. Cameron Donald (Honda) +0.844
3. Bruce Anstey (Honda) +14.081
4. Michael Dunlop (Yamaha) +23.104
5. Gary Johnson (Honda) +25.227
6. William Dunlop (Honda) +28.845
7. Ryan Farquhar (Kawasaki) +42.558
8. Guy Martin (Suzuki) +58.777
9. Lee Johnston (Honda) +58.891
10. Conor Cummins (Kawasaki) 59.185