NW200: Martin Jessopp triumphs in Supertwins opener

Martin Jessopp claimed his third North West 200 victory after a hard-earned win in the first Supertwins race on Thursday evening.

The Yeovil rider beat former Grand Prix winner Jeremy McWilliams by 1.8 seconds, with the 54-year-old taking the runner-up spot ahead of 20-year-old prospect Joey Thompson, who was riding a Paton.

Supertwins race winner Martin Jessopp with runner-up Jeremy McWilliams (left) and Joey Thompson.

Supertwins race winner Martin Jessopp with runner-up Jeremy McWilliams (left) and Joey Thompson.

Jessopp had earlier crashed out at Mill Road roundabout on the first lap of the Supersport race but he certainly made up for his mistake in the best way possible.

“The evening had started off well when I was leading the Supersport race and then I ended up sitting on top of the Mill Road roundabout!”, he joked.

“It was a hard race and I only led from Metropole on the last lap because I was losing so much out of the corners.”

McWilliams was in front on the opening lap but had to settle for second on his Ryan Farquhar-prepared KMR Kawasaki.

“I fell asleep a little bit and I couldn’t work out where they were faster,” he said.

“The Paton had some pace and then the other boys got in among us and I had to weigh them up. It came good at the end.”

Adam McLean, who qualified second fastest, was fourth on the Hanna Kawasaki ahead of James Cowton (McAdoo Kawasaki).