Alastair Seeley missed out on first place in Superbike Race 1, but rebounded in Race 2 to take the win.
John McGuinness riding for Honda TT Legends took first place in Race 1 of Superbike action at the North West 200 in Ireland. The English rider was followed by Tyco Suzuki’s Alastair Seeley in second and Wilson Craig Racing’s Cameron Donald in third. In Race 2 , the North West 200 finale, Seeley capped off a remarkable North West 200 by claiming his third victory. The Irish rider was followed by Bathams Kawasaki’s Michael Rutter in second and John McGuinness in third. Seeley posted the fastest lap times in both races.
McGuiness got off to a fantastic start in Race 1, remaining right behind Seeley. After the first lap, the Suzuki rider made a slight push to gain ground on the McGuinness, but instead fell down the timesheet after making a mistake and leaving the front wide open for the Honda TT Legends rider. By Lap 5 Seeley had made up for his mistake, making it all the way back to second place from 14th, but he was unable to regain the lead before Race 1 ended. In Race 2, the Suzuki rider remained flawless and held the lead through all six laps. McGuinness lost the second place spot by Lap 5 to Rutter.
“I was fairly confident we could go well in the races today after qualifying on the front row,” said McGuinness. “I went in with a good attitude, just wanting to get stuck in and go as hard as I could to keep Alastair under pressure. In Race 1 that happened and he made a mistake and in Race 2 I was with him all the time but couldn’t quite get there.”
“I can’t complain too much about those results,” said Seeley. “Three wins from six podiums and winning the big one – the North West 200 Superbike race – it was really nice to do it again. I didn’t think it was going to be my day…missing a gear while leading the first Superbike race.”
Donald, the third place finisher in Race 1, started on the grid in eighth place. The Honda rider was able to advance in position through every lap though and took home a Superbike podium. He scored a DNF in Race 2.
Michael Rutter also had an excellent day, taking fourth place in Race 1 and second in Race 2. The Kawasaki rider started ninth on the grid in Race 2 but made a good start which allowed him to remain in the top three for the entire race.
The 2012 North West 200 saw local Northern Ireland riders nearly sweep the races. Seeley scored three victories, with a Superstock win on Thursday followed by one Supersport and Superbike win apiece on Saturday. Ryan Farquhar claimed the Supertwins win, with William Dunlop the other Supersport victor. McGuinness, now a six-time NW200 winner, was one of two non-native riders to claim victory.
Michael Rutter took his 13th career win in the Superstock race which ties him with legendary Irish road racer Joey Dunlop as the second most successful rider at the North West. He now sits just two wins from the all-time most successful North West rider, Robert Dunlop.
Sadly, Mark Buckley passed away following a crash in the Superstock event. The 35-year old rider crashed at York Corner and succumbed to his injuries later in the hospital. The North West 200 has created an online book of condolences and messages will be forwarded to Mark's family.
2012 North West 200 Superbike Race 1 Results:
John McGuinness scored two Superbike podiums in the North West 200, first in Race 1 and third in Race 2.
1. John McGuinness (Honda) 119.883mph
2. Alastair Seeley (Suzuki) 119.571mph
3. Cameron Donald (Honda) 118.994mph
4. Michael Rutter (Kawasaki) 118.936mph
5. Ryan Farquhar (Kawasaki) 118.856mph
6. Bruce Anstey (Honda) 118.752mph
7. Conor Cummins (Suzuki) 118.447mph
8. James Hillier (Kawasaki) 118.372mph
9. Simon Andrews (Honda) 118.165mph
10. Michael Dunlop (Honda) 117.945mph
11. Gary Johnson (Honda) 117.696mph
12. Martin Jessopp (Ducati) 117.455mph
13. Ian Hutchinson (Yamaha) 116.140mph
14. Stephen Thompson (Kawasaki) 116.126mph
15. John Burrows (Suzuki) 114.699mph
2012 North West 200 Superbike Race 2 Results:
1. Alastair Seeley (Suzuki) 121.352mph
2. Michael Rutter (Kawasaki) 121.235mph
3. John McGuinness (Honda) 121.106mph
4. Simon Andrews (Honda) 119.868mph
5. Michael Dunlop (Honda) 118.310mph
6. James Hillier (Kawasaki) 117.718mph
7. Ian Hutchinson (Yamaha) 117.657mph
8. Bruce Anstey (Honda) 116.651mph
9. Stephen Thompson (Kawasaki) 116.567mph
10. Brian McCormack (Honda) 115.238mph
11. Ben Wylie (BMW) 115.177mph
12. Paul Shoesmith (BMW) 115.063mph
13. John Burrows (Suzuki) 115.015mph
14. Dean Harrison (BMW) 114.658mph
15. Steve Heneghan (Kawasaki) 111.80mph