Tyco Suzuki's Alastair Seeley took the North West 200 Superstock win by a comfortable 22-second margin.
Northern Ireland riders Alastair Seeley and Ryan Farquhar split victories in the first Thursday night races at the North West 200. Tyco Suzuki’s Seeley claimed career North West 200 victory number six in the Supertock race, with Farquhar taking the checkers in the Supertwins race.
Seeley took the win in dominating fashion, leading his nearest rival, Millsport Racing Ducati’s lee Johnston, by more than 22 seconds at the finish. The Irishman opened up a gap from Superstock pole position starter Farquhar and never relented. Wilson Craig Honda’s Cameron Donald finished third, the Australian still winless at the North West. Faquhar dropped to fourth on his KMR Kawasaki, with fellow ZX-10R rider Stefano Bonetti rounding out the top five (Bonetti mistakenly credited with a third-place finish post-race and included on the podium).
Said Seeley on win number six: “Once at the front, the gap just jumped from plus two, to plus five then plus 15 and 20. I eased off in the last couple of laps and was short shifting and looking for damp parts of the track to preserve my Pirelli tires - but they worked perfectly.”
Wet weather has threatened the racing action throughout this year’s North West, with rain spoiling Thursday morning qualifying. The inclement weather meant Tuesday’s qualifying results held, which spoiled the plans of many top-tier riders including Seeley’s teammates, Guy Martin (9th) and Conor Cummins (11th).
NW and TT regulars Michael Rutter and Michael Dunlop finished a respective seventh and eighth, with 48-year-old veteran rider Ian Lougher completing the top 10. Notable STK DNFs include Bruce Anstey and Gary Johnson.
The Supertwins race featured an impressive 1-2-3 sweep by the KMR Kawasaki team. Farquhar, the KMR team owner, led his teammates – the 48-year-old former MotoGP competitor Jeremy McWilliams and 40-year-old Michael Rutter, one of the winningest riders in NW200 history at 12 career victories.
Seeley will have a prime opportunity to get closer to Rutter’s career tally on Saturday. The Tyco ace will start both pair of Superbike and Supersport races from pole position. In a team press statement, the local rider said of his Thursday success, "This sets us up really well now for Saturday and with four pole positions and a second place on the grid we will hopefully be in with a shout for more wins on the Tyco Suzukis."
2012 North West 200 Superstock Results:
Real roads, real curbs, real rain... The North West 200.
. Alastair Seeley (Suzuki) 111.734 mph
2. Lee Johnston (Ducati) 110.652 mph
3. Cameron Donald (Honda) 110.351 mph
4. Ryan Farquhar (Kawasaki) 109.870 mph
5. Stefano Bonetti (Kawasaki) 110.378 mph
6. James Hillier (Kawasaki) 109.650 mph
7. Michael Rutter (Kawasaki) 109.439 mph
8. Michael Dunlop (Kawasaki) 109.731 mph
9. Guy Martin (Suzuki) 109.359 mph
10. Ian Lougher (Kawasaki) 108.932 mph
11. Conor Cummins (Suzuki) 108.658 mph
12. Stephen Thompson (BMW) 108.507 mph
13. William Dunlop (Honda) 108.990 mph
14. Adrian Archibald (Kawasaki) 108.327 mph
15. John McGuinness (Honda) 106.796 mph
2012 North West 200 Supertwins Results:
1. Ryan Farquhar (Kawasaki) 100.487 mph
2. Jeremy McWilliams (Kawasaki) 100.409 mph
3. Michael Rutter (Kawasaki) 101.270 mph
4. James Hillier(Kawasaki) 101.136 mph
5. Adrian Archibald(Kawasaki) 100.184 mph
6. Jamie Hamilton (Kawasaki) 99.274 mph
7. Ian Lougher (Kawasaki) 98.493 mph
8. Michael Sweeney (Kawasaki) 98.181 mph
9. William Davison (Kawasaki) 97.608 mph
10. Simon Andrews (Kawasaki) 97.968 mph