Road Racing News

Vauxhall International North West 200 – Maiden International Roads Success For Martin Jessopp

After many years of near misses at Macau and on the coast roads, Martin Jessopp at last this evening, clinched his first international roads victory, via success in a gripping opening Supersport race at the North West 200.

Gaining the hole shot from the start, the Yeovil based rider went onto become involved in a race long battle with up to seven riders.

Photo by Rod Neill

It was on lap four, when he pulled the pin, moving over a second of the chasing pack, from here he kept up a consistent rapid pace, to ultimately emerge victorious by 0.772 of a second, over McAMS Yamaha’s Ian Hutchinson.

Hutchy’s second place finish, has added credence, given that it was his first full race aboard the 2017 spec YZF R6 Yamaha, plus the fact that he started from eighth on the grid.

Photo by Rod Neill

JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s James Hillier battled his way to the final spot on the podium, edging out Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Racing) who wrapped up a new personal best result around the Triangle.

The reigning Duke Road Race Rankings champion also set the fastest time of the race, lapping on the final lap at 4 minutes 37.368 seconds.

Lee Johnston was fifth as William Dunlop (IC Racing/Caffrey International) finalised the top six.

Michael Dunlop had a fairly low key race, as he finished seventh, James Cowton (McAdoo Kawasaki) and Jamie Coward (Radcliffe’s Racing) both impressed in finishing eighth and ninth as did Horst Saiger on his Metzeler backed Kawasaki, who rounded out the top ten.

Outside the top ten, notable performances included Craig Neve 15th, Sam West 16th and 2016 Senior Manx GP winner Tom Weeden, finishing a very respectable 19th.

Pre race favourite Alastair Seeley was the highest profile retirement from the race, having encountered an electrical problem with the Gearlink Kawasaki.

Vauxhall International North West 200 – Supersport Race 1 Results:

1 Martin Jessopp
2 Ian Hutchinson
3 James Hillier
4 Dean Harrison
5 Lee Johnston
6 William Dunlop
7 Michael Dunlop
8 James Cowton
9 Jamie Coward
10 Horst Saiger
11 Peter Hickman
12 Bruce Anstey
13 Dan Cooper
14 Christian Elkin
15 Craig Neve
16 Sam West
17 Paul Jordan
18 Michael Sweeney
19 Tom Weeden
20 Dan Hegarty
21 Joe Thompson
22 Gavin Lupton
23 Guy Martin
24 Phil Stead
25 Darryl Tweed
26 Dan Stewart
27 Mark Purslow
28 Dominic Herbertson
29 Kris Duncan
30 Joey Den Besten
31 Frederic Besnard
32 Frank Gallagher
33 Callum Laidlaw
34 Victor Lopez
35 Paul Cranston

Words by Stevie Rial