Lap records have been-broke, great racing, stern overtakes, excitement in bucket loads you name it everything good about pure road racing arose in the prior Super Twin, Supersport North West 200 encounters, what would the Anchor Bar Superbike race offer?
Honda Racing’s Glenn Irwin got a typically fast start and led DAO Racing’s Dean Harrison into York.
Drama was soon afoot as Peter Hickman made an error, dropping him out of front running contention.
As lap one continued, Irwin began to steadily broke away from the chasing pack headed by former IRRC Superbike Champion Davey Todd.
The finalisation of lap one would see Todd just 0.361 down on pre-race favourite Irwin.
Buildbase Suzuki’s Richard Cooper was third, just ahead of top Kawasaki runner Harrison.
Lap two saw Irwin, Todd remain evenly matched whilst the battle for third was still led by former National Superstock 1000 Champion Cooper.
The pace out front was simply astonishing, on lap two the top four were all under the existing lap record!
At York on lap three, Todd grabbed the lead over Irwin, Cooper was still third and wasn’t out of victory contention yet.
Soon Irwin was back in front but you couldn’t but be impressed with the much-improved Todd.
Todd then regained the lead into Metropole and lap three’s conclusion led by just over three tenths of a second.
Cooper in third was flying, setting a new official lap record of 4 minutes 20.685 seconds.
Onto lap four and the chopping and changing out front continued with Irwin edging back in front.
As lap five beckoned, the lap record has gone again this time to Irwin, lapping at 4 minutes 19.451 seconds.
Despite a new outright lap record, he couldn’t get rid of the attentions of Todd, who also lapped sub 4 minutes 20 seconds.
Irwin, Todd’s pace was soon blasted by FHO Racing’s Peter Hickman, via an incredible lap time of 4 minutes 18.753 seconds.
More misfortune then struck Hickman, who pulled out at University Corner.
As lap five concluded, Irwin headed Todd by just 0.606, Cooper was third, Josh Brookes moved up to fourth following problems for DAO Racing’s Harrison.
By Mathers Cross Chicane on lap six, Irwin just about was still leading but Todd was in striking distance.
Todd then led by the next chicane but at Metropole he ran wide which allowed Irwin to go P1 which he maintained to the chequered flag, his fifth successive North West 200 Superbike victory, the first racer in history to accomplish this feat.
Admitting afterwards it was the hardest he’s ever rode around the Triangle course, race winner Irwin was full of praise for runner-up Todd.
Lead Suzuki pilot Cooper wrapped up the podium finishers in front of Australia’s fastest TT racer Brookes.
24 times North West 200 winner Alastair Seeley took second, Conor Cummins placed sixth as James Hillier, Michael Rutter, Ian Hutchinson respectively finished sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth.
Senior Manx GP winner Nathan Harrison finished a fine tenth in front of 23 times TT winner John McGuinness MBE.
Anchor Bar Superbike race result, reads as follows:
1st – Glenn Irwin
2nd – Davey Todd
3rd – Richard Cooper
4th – Josh Brookes
5th – Alastair Seeley
6th – Conor Cummins
7th – James Hillier
8th – Michael Rutter
9th – Ian Hutchinson
10th – Nathan Harrison
11th – John McGuinness MBE
12th – Sam West
13th – Dominic Herbertson
14th – Craig Neve
15th – Gary Johnson
16th – Lukas Maurer
17th – James Chawke
18th – Xavier Denis
19th – Joe Thompson
20th – Julian Trummer
21st – Mark Purslow
22nd – Ilja Caljouw
23rd – Ryan Gibson
24th – Josh Daley
25th – Sam Johnson
26th – Michael Booth
27th – Nadieh Schoots
28th – Patricia Fernandez
29th – Olivier Lupberger
Photo credit: Tommy Vennard
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou