Road Racing News

FonaCAB International North West 200 In Association With Nicholl Oils: Preview – Part 1 – Supersport Races

Your always guaranteed close fought, dramatic, fierce competition, within the Supersport class at the North West 200. Expect no different next week, as a who’s who of international road racing, battle it out for 600 honours.

Event record holder Alastair Seeley, who’s secured since 2010 at every NW200 at least one Supersport victory, is anticipated by many to enjoy this May more middleweight class triumphs.

Piloting high spec YZF R6 Yamaha machinery, for British Supersport Championship suitors EHA Racing, the Carrickfergus racer is confident he has the tools, to allow him to increase his already incredible record of 24 event wins.

Photo by Tommy Vennard

Amongst a host of International roads giants, confident of battling Seeley for race wins include Michael Dunlop.

You can never discount Ballymoney’s Dunlop from contending for race wins, even if according to recent reports he’s recovering from a wrist injury sustained in a testing incident, at Kirkistown.

Competing again under his own teams banner, the Mountain Course lap record holder has that race winning spirit, boundless determination in spades that you need to conquer the fabled Triangle course.

Photo by Rod Neill

Same applies to Ashcourt Racing’s Lee Johnston, who has impressed many with his pace in the opening rounds of the British Supersport Championship.

Six times an International Road Race winner, the ever cheerful Johnston is widely touted by various astute roads insiders, given his excellent form, allied to proven class calibre, and a potent, highly competitive YZF R6 Yamaha steed, as one of the favourites next week for Supersport success.

Like ‘General Lee’ Lee Hardy Racing’s Gary Johnson, is another who is more than capable of standing on the top step of the Supersport rostrum, which is also the case with fellow 675 Daytona Triumph mounted competitor, Peter Hickman.

Piloting the striking factory supported TROOPER liveried Smiths Triumph, ‘Hicky’ whilst perhaps more considered a front running contender in the Superbike/Superstock classes, proved at last years Ulster Grand Prix with a dominant middleweight class victory, that’s he not to be underestimated on 600 machinery.

Additional potential front runners include Silicone Engineering Racing’s Dean Harrison, Manx star Conor Cummins (Milenco by Padgetts), the ever consistent James Hillier (Quattro Plant Wicked Coatings Kawasaki), and the Honda Racing trio of Ian Hutchinson and David Johnson.

Photo by Tommy Vennard

Added ones to watch include Irish Road Race Supersport champion Derek McGee, Derek Sheils, BE Racing In Conjunction With Richardson Kelly Racing’s Tom Weeden, Christian Elkin.

Craig Neve, PreZ Racing’s Jamie Coward, Paul Jordan, WH Racing’s Daley Mathison, Matt Rees, Team DHR’s Darryl Tweed, PRF Racing’s Barry Evans and Michael Sweeney.

Further depth to the entry is provided by overseas stars such as Horst Saiger, twice IRRC Supersport champ Laurent Hoffmann, Patricia Fernandez, Francesco Curinga, Optimark Road Racing’s Xavier Denis and Martimotos backed Raul Torras Martinez.

Triangle debutants to keep an eye on include Chris Preston Racing’s Nathan Harrison, who starred at last years Manx Grand Prix.

The components needed to win a Supersport encounter around the Triangle, are the same each year. You need the relentless pace, spot on race tactics, determination personified and perhaps most of all an uncompromising will to win.

Photo by Rod Neill

You can apply all the attributes above to many within this years, truly world class entry, which is certain to guarantee this May more exhilarating NW200 action.

Words by Stevie Rial