Alistair Seeley was the eventual winner of Saturday’s frenetic Supersport race at the North West 200.
Having won the first Supersport race on Thursday evening – which was a record breaking 16th at the event – Seeley started from pole on his Gearlink Kawasaki but didn’t have it all his own way. The lead changed hands a number of times with riders including Lee Johnston, Michael Rutter and William Dunlop all leading the pack at one stage.
It was Johnston who crossed the line first after the first two laps but after cutting the Juniper Chicane, he lost a number of positions. He eventually crossed the line in third place but was demoted to sixth after picking up a ten second penalty. Stewards gave him the penalty after he was deemed not to have stopped after cutting the chicane – a rule which was introduced to ensure riders rejoin the track safely. He was clearly aggrieved of the decision and launched an appeal.
With Johnston out of the way, and Dunlop and Rutter retiring, Seeley retook the lead and fended off a charge from Ian Hutchinson who also retired. Martin Jessopp was too far back to prevent Seeley taking a 17th North West 200 victory and he finished six seconds back. Peter Hickman was third – his first podium at the event after impressing as a newcomer in 2014.
Behind the trio of podium finishers, newcomer Malachi Mitchell-Thomas was an impressive fourth having started 16th. He was just a couple of tenths clear of Dean Harrison with Johnston classified in sixth. James Hillier, John McGuinness, Christian Elkin and Paul Jordan completed the top ten.