Alastair Seeley logged a double victory performance during the opening day of the 2014 North West 200 races. Riding for the Mar-Train Racing team, the Irishman bagged wins in the Supersport and Superstock races, with Lee Johnston taking the Supertwins victory.
The two wins increase Seeley’s career NW200 victory tally to 12, one more than TT legend and fellow Northern Ireland rider Phillip McCallen. Only Michael Rutter, Joey Dunlop and Robert Dunlop have more NW200 wins to their credit.
Seeley earned his first win of the 2014 North West in the opening Supersport race. And he did it the hard way aboard his Mar-Train Yamaha R6 after an opening lap incident saw him shuffled back into 15th. Seeley was caught up with eventual Supertwins winner, Johnston, and went down in York Corner, the first major corner from the NW200 sprint start.
Six laps later the Wee Wizard had managed to pick his way up through the field to wrestle the victory away from Tyco Suzuki’s Guy Martin by 1.152 seconds. Australian Josh Brookes rounded out the Supersport 1 podium, with the British Superbike competitor and former World Supersport rider earning his best-ever NW200 result. Brookes bested Tyco Suzuki’s second rider, William Dunlop, who finished fourth. Meanwhile, Scottish rider Keith Amor made his return to the NW200 with a fifth-place result aboard a Honda.
Johnston rebounded from his earlier Supersport crash to take victory in the second NW race on the day, the Supertwins class. Racing for the Pirtek Kawasaki squad, Johnston beat fellow Ninja 650 rider Ivan Lintin (McKinstry Racing) and James Cowton (Kendo Racing).
Seeley took his second victory aboard a Kawasaki in the Superstock contest, where he bested the BMW duo of Michael Rutter and Michael Dunlop. Seeley led the early going, but Rutter and Dunlop both overtook the leader in the closing laps. Dunlop was leading on the final lap but eventually yielded to Seeley’s charge. Rutter also got by Dunlop at the line to snake second, a half second behind Seeley and three-tenths ahead of the third-placed Dunlop.
Noticeably absent from the NW200 results was Honda TT Legends rider John McGuinness, who withdrew from the races. The King of the Mountain and 20-times TT winner participated in qualifying, but did not race because of the lingering effects of an arm injury sustained during an off-season training crash. Michael Dunlop, who also returned to action at the North West following an arm injury sustained during a British Superbike crash, was a notable DNF in the opening Supersport and Supertwins races. McGuinnness’s Honda teammate, Conor Cummins, also had troubles in the opening Supersport race and finished seventh in the Superstock results.
The North West 200 races will resume on Saturday, with the second Supersport race and namesake NW200 Superbike contest.
2014 North West 200 Supersport 1 Results:
1. Alastair Seeley (Yamaha) 115.335 mph
2. Guy Martin (Suzuki) 115.256 mph
3. Josh Brookes (Yamaha) 115.204 mph
4. William Dunlop (Suzuki) 115.175 mph
5. Keith Amor (Honda) 114.209 mph
6. Michael Rutter (Triumph) 114.198 mph
7. Gary Johnson (Triumph) 114.143 mph
8. Bruce Anstey (Honda) 114.093 mph
9. Daniel Cooper (Kawasaki) 113.594 mph
10. James Hillier (Kawasaki) 113.285 mph
2014 North West 200 Superstock Results:
1. Alastair Seeley (Kawasaki) 120.165 mph
2. Michael Rutter (BMW) 120.123 mph
3. Michael Dunlop (BMW) 120.105 mph
4. Martin Jessopp (BMW) 119.933 mph
5. Horst Saiger (Kawasaki) 119.906 mph
6. Simon Andrews (BMW) 119.007 mph
7. Conor Cummins (Honda) 118.011 mph
8. Guy Martin (Suzuki) 117.524 mph
9. Peter Hickman (BMW) 117.502 mph
10. William Dunlop (Suzuki) 117.300 mph
2014 North West 200 Supertwins Results:
1. Lee Johnson (Kawasaki) 107.632 mph
2. Ivan Lintin (Kawasaki) 107.584 mph
3. James Cowton (Kawasaki) 106.696 mph
4. James Hillier (Kawasaki) 106.641 mph
5. Jamie Hamilton (Kawasaki) 106.317 mph
6. Ryan Farquhar (Kawasaki) 106.311 mph
7. Martin Jessopp (Kawasaki) 106.218 mph
8. Jeremy McWilliams (Kawasaki) 104.445 mph
9. Paul Shoesmith (Kawasaki) 102.314 mph
10. Timothee Monot (Kawasaki) 102.308 mph