Could the bulky, ultra-powerful Superstock 1000s’ provide more treats for the capacity crowd at the FonaCAB & Nicholl Oils North West 200, another record-breaking encounter?
Friends, respected rivals Alastair Seeley, Glenn Irwin battled it out into the Mill-Road Roundabout.
They were leading a high-quality field featuring various TT, NW200, Ulster GP winners.
Drama then struck as Irwin pulled out at University, closely followed by, Milenco by Padgetts Davey Todd, who ran onto the grass.
This enabled Seeley to re-take the lead ahead of 19 times TT winner Michael Dunlop.
The attrition on lap one continued with Milwaukee BMW Motorrad’s Ian Hutchinson retiring.
As lap one finalised, Seeley led Dunlop by just 0.595, Michael Sweeney was holding a fantastic third ahead of Dean Harrison whilst Irwin, Todd who both got back underway were 10th, 11th respectively.
At the Mathers Cross Chicane on lap two, Dunlop piloting Honda’s newest Fireblade incarnation hit the front.
Seeley went onto reclaim P1 as lap two concluded whilst Todd determined to make up for his lap one problems, surged into third aided by a blistering new Superstock lap record of 4 minutes 20.640 seconds.
Five times NW200 Superbike winner Irwin pulled out for a second time and this time it seemed that his race stint was done.
More drama was to arise, again at University as Dunlop made a mistake whilst leading.
This enabled Seeley to move back into first, Todd was now back to second as Dunlop dropped to third.
Seeley enjoyed a 3.59 seconds advantage at the end of lap three but newly second Todd was on a charge, lapping two seconds faster.
Ashcourt Racing’s Lee Johnston chipping away his pace, soon got the better of Dunlop, Todd for second.
Dunlop retired soon after whilst Todd appeared to also be having problems, dropping almost four seconds behind Johnston.
Out front Seeley wasn’t having any dramas, leading by just over 4.4 seconds as lap four concluded.
As the sixth and final lap dawned, IFS Global Logistics backed Seeley enjoyed an advantage exceeding four seconds.
Harrison took third as Todd’s challenge dipped whilst Sweeney wrapped up the top five.
Triangle course maestro Seeley would go onto wrap up in dominant fashion CP Hire Superstock race victory.
Johnston placed second behind now 27 times NW200 victor Seeley. Johnston’s good friend Harrison almost took second as lap six finalised, finishing only 0.979 behind.
Fourth behind Harrison after an entertaining scrap with John McGuinness MBE was Skerries Sweeney.
Others recording strong finishes included 6th-10th place finishers Sam West, Nathan Harrison, Craig Neve, Jamie Coward and reigning IRRC Superbike Championship runner-up Lukas Maurer.
CP Hire Limited Superstock race result, reads as follows:
1st – Alastair Seeley
2nd – Lee Johnston
3rd – Dean Harrison
4th – Michael Sweeney
5th – John McGuinness MBE
6th – Sam West
7th – Nathan Harrison
8th – Craig Neve
9th – Jamie Coward
10th – Lukas Maurer
11th – Xavier Denis
12th – James Chawke
13th – Mark Purslow
14th – Ilja Caljouw
15th – Michael Booth
16th – Josh Daley
17th – Marty Lennon
18th – Jamie Williams
19th – Anthony Redmond
20th – Olivier Lupberger
21st – Nadieh Schoots
22nd – Paul Cassidy
23rd – Kris Duncan
24th – Donald MacFadyen
25th – Patricia Fernandez
26th – Michael Rutter
27th – Jean Pierre Polet
Photo credit: Tommy Vennard
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou