North West 200: Hickman Holds Off Seeley For Superstock Race 1 Honours

North West 200: Hickman Holds Off Seeley For Superstock Race 1 Honours

After a lengthy delay, due to an oil spillage on the original warm up lap at Station Corner, the opening Superstock/1000cc race of the Vauxhall International North West 200, provided as in the prior Supersport race, more thrilling, close fought, dramatic competition on the fabled Triangle course.

It was Smiths Racing’s Peter Hickman who lead the way on lap 1, holding a small advantage over Michael Dunlop, who in turn was just in front of Quattro Plant/JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s James Hillier, who additionally was just tenths of a second clear of Tyco BMW’s Dan Kneen and Alastair Seeley.

Photo by David Maginnis

Lap two saw Superstock TT lap record holder Dunlop surge to the front, Hickman in second was now coming under pressure from Triangle wizard Seeley, as Hillier dropped back to fourth place.

Laps three and four would see Seeley hit the front, Dunlop dropped back to third, whilst Hickman in second place was looking in good place for a seventh international roads victory.

Positions remained unchanged within the leading trio on lap five, Bathams SMT Racing’s Michael Rutter quietly though was reeling in Seeley, Hickman and Dunlop, the stage was set for a thrilling sixth and final lap.

To beat event record holder Seeley, you need to be literally at the top of your game, plus have the upmost confidence to compete toe to toe with him on the coast roads.

Photo by Rod Neill

These attributes Peter Hickman had and then some on lap six, as at Juniper Chicane he made decisive manoeuvre on Seeley, which gave him from then on gave him an advantage of plus half a second, which he held to the chequered flag to score a seventh international roads success, plus also and more importantly his and Smiths Racing’s first North West 200 victory.

Seeley in second, was philosophical in defeat and full of praise for race winner Hickman. Third placed Michael Dunlop looked happy enough to score his first international roads rostrum finish of 2018, whilst Michael Rutter also had reason to be pleased with his performance, in finishing a battling fourth.

James Hillier lead the Kawasaki challenge in fifth, Dean Harrison was sixth as Lee Johnston, Gary Johnson, PRL Worthington Racing’s Sam West and Derek McGee concluded the top ten finishers.

Lead newcomer Davey Todd continued his striking Triangle progress, by finishing 12th in front of Honda Racing’s Ian Hutchinson.

Whilst others to enjoy an immensely fruitful six laps of competition included leading Spanish road racer Raul Torras Martinez, who finished a very creditable 19th.

Superstock Race 1 results:

1 Peter Hickman
2 Alastair Seeley
3 Michael Dunlop
4 Michael Rutter
5 James Hillier
6 Dean Harrison
7 Lee Johnston
8 Gary Johnson
9 Sam West
10 Derek McGee
11 David Johnson
12 Davey Todd
13 Ian Hutchinson
14 Dan Cooper
15 Dominic Herbertson
16 Stefano Bonetti
17 Kris Duncan
18 Craig Neve
19 Raul Torras Martinez
20 Chris Green
21 Nadieh Schoots
22 Marty Lennon
23 Donald MacFadyen
24 Paul Williams
25 Toni Rechberger

Words by Stevie Rial

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