The big one beckons, the Merrow Hotel & Spa feature NW200 Superbike race.
Reduced in distance to five laps, the latest big-bike express train around the Triangle excited, thoroughly entertained, captured the imagination of the large crowd in attendance.
Notable non-starters included the Milenco by Padgetts pairing of Davey Todd and Conor Cummins.
After lap one ended, BeerMonster Ducati’s Glenn Irwin held P1, chased by Alastair Seeley, Dean Harrison and early race leader Michael Dunlop.
The race was then unfortunately red-flagged due to an incident at Juniper chicane involving James Hillier.
Post a moderate delay, racing got back underway at close to 5:40 PM.
Similar to the previous race start, those to quickly hit their strides were the aforementioned Irwin, Seeley, Harrison and Dunlop.
Harrison led at York Corner, then Dunlop led, then Irwin led, last lap racing on lap one!
BSB Championship leader Irwin held onto P1 at lap one’s finalisation, with Dunlop P2, Seeley P3, Harrison P4.
The duel for first intensified across lap two, you could tell how much the leading group wanted feature race glory.
By Magherabuoy chicane TAS Racing’s Seeley had overtook Hawk Racing’s Dunlop for the race lead.
Seeley was still P1 as lap three entered the horizon. Dunlop, Irwin, Harrison remained close behind.
Irwin then regained the lead and moved one second ahead of Seeley at lap three’s conclusion.
The race was then red flagged due to another incident at Juniper involving Michael Browne, curtailing any further action.
This meant eight successive Superbike successes for Irwin and back-to-back feature Superbike victories.
Seeley, Harrison, Dunlop were declared second, third, fourth place finishers.
Only remaining racers to complete three laps were John McGuinness MBE and fellow international road racing legend Michael Rutter.
Merrow Hotel & Spa NW200 Superbike Race Result:
1st – Glenn Irwin
2nd – Alastair Seeley
3rd – Dean Harrison
4th – Michael Dunlop
5th – John McGuinness MBE
6th – Michael Rutter
7th – Brian McCormack
8th – Sam West
9th – Gary McCoy
10th – Erno Kostamo
11th – Leon Jeacock
12th – Eddy Ferre
13th – Michael Evans
14th – Don Gilbert
15th – James Chawke
16th – Amalric Blanc
17th – Chris Sarbora
18th – Jonathan Perry
19th – Kamil Holan
20th – Anthony Redmond
21st – Liam Chawke
22nd – Nadieh Schoots
23rd – Jean Pierre Polet
24th – Olivier Lupberger
25th – Donald MacFadyen
26th – Patricia Fernandez West
27th – Stephen Degnan
28th – Brad Clarke
Photo credit: Tommy Vennard
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou