Alistair Seeley matched Robert Dunlop’s 15 win record at the North West 200 with a victory in the first Superbike race.
Ian Hutchison was impressive on his PBM Kawasaki, taking the early lead of the race. The top six were close over the five laps with veteran riders Bruce Anstey, Michael Rutter and John McGuinness joining Hutchison, Seeley and Lee Johnston. Seeley’s Tyco BMW team-mates Guy Martin and William Dunlop were a distant seventh and eighth and it was Dunlop who came out on top of the inter-team battle. Newcomer David Johnson was ninth from the second group with Keith Amor in tenth.
Anstey’s third place finish meant he continued his unique record of at least one podium finish at every North West 200 since 2002. He has corresponding records at the Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix and he will no doubt be hoping to continue both of those records later this year. The top three crossed the line within half a second of each other with the top six separated by just six seconds.
It was an emotional victory for Seeley who equalled the late Robert Dunlop’s record with a 15th win. He also won both Supersport races.
“I’m a bit overwhelmed if I’m honest,” Seeley said after the race. “To have equalled Robert’s record in such a short space of time… I’m stuck for words. I used to watch Joey and Robert race here as a boy and to join Joey on thirteen wins on Thursday was an honour, but to join Robert now on fifteen is just amazing for me and the Tyco BMW team. Big credit to all the boys for a big effort this North West and of course BMW Motorrad for providing top class machinery.”