NW200: Triangle master Alastair Seeley is streets ahead in Supersport class

Triangle master Alastair Seeley was streets ahead of the pretenders to his Supersport crown as the Carrick man increased his all-time record of victories at the North West 200.

Monday, 21st May 2018, 2:45 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:38 am
Alastair Seeley celebrates his Supersport double with the EHA Racing team.

Seeley joined British championship outfit EHA Racing to ride the Yamaha R6 at the event this year and rewarded the Northern Ireland team with a prestigious double.

In a repeat of his unstoppable performance in Thursday’s first race, Seeley once again played a waiting game in a fast and furious battle involving up to eight riders, who were separated by just 1.7 seconds over the first four laps.

The lead changed hands countless times as Seeley, Lee Johnston, Gary Johnson, James Hillier, Michael Dunlop, Dean Harrison, Conor Cummins and Martin Jessopp went to battle around the 8.9-mile course.

Alastair Seeley leads James Hillier and Gary Johnson in Saturday's Supersport race at the North West 200.

However, after stealthily edging his way to the front, Seeley produced a turn of pace that enabled him to give his pursuers the slip over the final two laps.

He blasted the lap record to set a new benchmark of 117.913mph, going clear to win by 5.5 seconds from Hillier (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) and Fermanagh’s Johnston, who claimed the final rostrum spot on the Padgett’s Honda – the same order from Thursday’s race.

It was Seeley’s 23rd triumph at the event and his 12th in the Supersport category, although he later won the Superstock race to further enhance his stunning record to 24.

A delighted Seeley said he was thrilled to deliver the EHA Racing team’s maiden international road racing wins.

“From the very first day that I spoke to the team about coming to the North West 200 with EHA Racing it has gone to plan: the Castle Combe test was a perfect start and the Kirkistown test just last week saw us well under the lap record,” said the 38-year-old.

“I love riding Supersport machinery and I was pretty excited to be getting to ride Yamaha’s new YZF-R6.

“We again proved today how good the package really is. I feel so good on the bike and I feel I could go to the British championship on this bike and do the business.

“The bike was faultless, it was fast and we had a lap record, so it is nice for EHA Racing.”

Runner-up Hillier was impressed with the top speed of his Kawasaki, although he feels the ZX-6R was lacking some grunt out of the corners.

“It was good fun and I enjoyed that. The bike is fast when it gets going but it lack a bit off the turns,” he said.

“The boys have been working hard and it’s good to pay them back with a result.”

Johnston, who is feeling fighting fit ahead of the Isle of Man TT, admitted Seeley had a little extra in hand once again.

“We settled down, picked our way through and then me and James (Hillier) had a bit of a ding-dong with two laps to go, which gave Alastair the chance to get away,” he said.

“But he had good pace and he probably would have pulled away anyway.

“All credit to the Padgett’s team because the bike is mint and it’s ready for the TT now.”

Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) was fourth followed by Dunlop (MD Racing Honda) and Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles Triumph