North West 200: Irwin Retains Feature Superbike Crown

North West 200: Irwin Retains Feature Superbike Crown

Reproducing the type of form that took him to opening Superbike race success, Glenn Irwin retained the feature Superbike North West 200 crown, following a truly dominant performance.

Never headed in the re started seven lap race, the now four times international road race winner, on the seventh and final lap nodded in appreciation to the large crowd near Juniper Chicane, as he enjoyed what can only be described as a dream time on the Triangle course.

Ultimately crossing the line to emerge victorious by almost ten seconds, you could tell in the winners enclosure how much it meant to Be Wiser Ducati racer to establish himself as now in my opinion one of the true modern day greats, of the North West 200.

Photo by Rod Neill

Second place finisher Michael Dunlop, put up throughout a tenacious fight to pace setter Irwin, steadily chipping away at the factory backed Ducati rider’s advantage, before dropping back to over nine seconds behind at the end of the seventh and final lap, due to a tyre problem afflicting his Tyco BMW mount.

Dunlop’s tyre problem allowed Honda Racing’s Lee Johnston to almost finish second, still third is a very positive result for ‘General Lee’, who stated in the winners enclosure his confidence about the SP2 Fireblade’s potential for the upcoming Mountain Course competition at TT 2018.

Riders Motorcycles Martin Jessopp was under 0.2 of a second behind Johnston, in finishing fourth, whilst Padgetts Conor Cummins in fifth place also impressed finishing under a second off a rostrum finish.

Silicone Engineering Racing’s Dean Harrison who made an error at Mathers Chicane on lap 2 battled his way back to sixth, finishing in front of Bathams SMT Racing’s evergreen Michael Rutter who enjoyed another productive day of NW200 race action.

Wrapping up the top ten finishers was Gary Johnson, James Hillier and Alastair Seeley, whilst Ian Hutchinson concluded his return to international roads competition with a respectable 11th place finish.

Davey Todd 13th, again lead the newcomers challenge in a race which saw only 24 riders start, and in total just 19 finish.

Overall it’s been a great day of racing at the Vauxhall International North West 200, one that has seen proven event front runners stars, rising stars excel, next gen stars give event stalwarts more than something to think about, and a full day of great weather!

Feature Superbike race results:

1 Glenn Irwin
2 Michael Dunlop
3 Lee Johnston
4 Martin Jessopp
5 Conor Cummins
6 Dean Harrison
7 Michael Rutter
8 Gary Johnson
9 James Hillier
10 Alastair Seeley
11 Ian Hutchinson
12 Sam West
13 Davey Todd
14 Kris Duncan
15 Bruce Birnie
16 Forest Dunn
17 Paul Williams
18 Chris Green
19 Raul Torras Martinez
20 Stephen Degnan
21 Andy Sellars
22 Toni Rechberger

Words by Stevie Rial

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