Road Racing News, 2023 Race of The Year award goes to, drum roll, the Tides Restaurant Supersport race at the North West 200.
The latest in an ever-growing list of Supersport wonder races around the Triangle, lap records, striking overtakes, intense competition, sensational racing, was what greeted the knowledgeable trackside crowd.
Back in May, Road Racing News race summary, was as follows:
No less than six, yes six lead changes arose on lap one which concluded with nine times TT winner, outright lap record holder Peter Hickman at the helm.
K2 Trooper Triumph pilot Hickman led Davey Todd by 1.329 seconds with Alastair Seeley, Dean Harrison, Michael Dunlop completing the top five.
Hickman continued to lead across lap two till Powertoolmate/Milwaukee Ducati’s Seeley, Milenco by Padgetts Todd overhauled him.
After lap two’s conclusion, Todd led the all-star leading pack now featuring new at the time Supersport lap record holder, Richard Cooper.
Cooper who ran straight on at the Magherabuoy Chicane on lap one, was now back firmly in the mix for race victory.
The order heading onto lap four was Todd, Seeley, Cooper, Hickman, Harrison, Dunlop.
Could anyone predict the race winner from here? Cooper had moved into first on lap four but could he hold off the determined Todd, the ‘Wee Wizard’ Seeley and Hickman.
Seeley’s challenge would end towards lap five’s completion after an error at the BetMcLean.com chicane whilst the top three going onto lap six, Cooper, Todd, Hickman, had all bettered the prior existing Supersport lap record.
Before Church Corner Todd re-took P1 from Cooper with Hickman, Harrison slightly dropping back.
Ultimately getting his race craft right, tenaciously maintaining first, securing back-to-back Supersport successes was Duke Road Race Rankings Champion Todd.
Todd emerged just 0.253 in front of Boyce Precision Engineering/Russell Racing’s Cooper.
Hickman putting to aside the drama of recent days, finished third with a new Supersport lap record to boot.
Bradford ace Harrison placed fourth, Dunlop took fifth, 29 times NW200 winner Seeley rounded out the top six.
Final placings within the top ten went to Adam McLean, Michael Browne, Paul Jordan and road racing returnee Joe Loughlin.
Photo credit: Tommy Vennard
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou