Road Racing News

Vauxhall International North West 200 – Qualifying Round Up

Super Twins:

Martin Jessopp carried on his excellent form from practice on Tuesday, to secure Super Twins pole position.

Lapping at 4 minutes 55.644 seconds on the Riders Motorcycles ER6 Kawasaki, he finished over a second clear of nearest pursuer, Michael Rutter who lead the KMR Kawasaki challenge.

Third fastest Dan Cooper (KW Electrical Services Kawasaki) showed accomplished pace around the coast roads, as did Lee Johnston on the Air Ambulance Northern Ireland liveried twin, the talented duo separated on the timing sheets by just 0.726 of a second.

Dafabet Devitt Racing’s Ivan Lintin fifth quickest, was not far behind, his fellow international road race winning counterparts, whilst reigning Irish road race Superbike champion Derek Sheils, impressed in completing the top six within qualifying.

Rising star Adam McLean and McAdoo Kawasaki’s James Cowton, seventh and eighth on the time sheets, where closely matched, ninth fastest Paul Jordan (Site Sealants B&W Racing) was three seconds further back, but 2.5 in front of tenth quickest Christian Elkin.

Outside of the first ten in qualifying additional riders to impress included Shirlaws Motorcycles backed Kris Duncan and newcomer Matt Sadowski.

Vauxhall International North West 200 – Combined Super Twins Qualifying Times:

1 Martin Jessopp 4.55.644
2 Michael Rutter 4.56.804
3 Dan Cooper 4.59.910
4 Lee Johnston 5.00.626
5 Ivan Lintin 5.00.850
6 Derek Sheils 5.03.840
7 Adam McLean 5.04.193
8 James Cowton 5.04.503
9 Paul Jordan 5.07.780
10 Christian Elkin 5.10.669
11 Michael Sweeney 5.15.130
12 Kris Duncan 5.16.241
13 Marty Lennon 5.16.768
14 Victor Lopez Santos 5.16.833
15 Darren James 5.17.484
16 Xavier Denis 5.17.912
17 Matt Sadowski 5.18.465
18 Barry Furber 5.21.791
19 Paul Gartland 5.23.329
20 Dave Madsen Mygdal 5.25.087


There was drama a plenty early on, during Superstock qualifying at the North West 200, with Guy Martin been black flagged at Metropole, having remounted, after been involved in an incident at the Mathers Cross Chicane.

Then Peter Hickman encountered problems with the Smiths Racing BMW, stopping at Black Hill, with engine issues.

Once it all settled down, the pace on track, was taken to another level by Alastair Seeley, who set a new Superstock lap record, lapping at 4 minutes 22.104 seconds, to secure pole position, for tonight’s race.

Photo by Rod Neill

Showcasing again his absolute mastery of the Triangle, the “Wee Wizard” worked his magic to achieve another momentous feat at Northern Ireland’s biggest sporting event.

Behind the on top form Tyco BMW rider, second/third quickest, Michael Rutter (Bathams SMT Racing) and Lee Johnston (East Coast Racing) where both happy with their BMW Motorrad steeds.

They have both placed themselves in ideal positions to challenge for Superstock success, same applies to fourth fastest Ian Hutchinson.

Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Racing) lead the Kawasaki challenge in fifth ahead of Martin Jessopp and Michael Dunlop who is chipping away with the brand new GSX-R 1000 Suzuki.

Completing the first ten in qualifying was JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s James Hillier, former lap record holder Horst Saiger and William Dunlop aboard the Temple Golf Club Yamaha.

Radcliffe’s Racing’s Jamie Coward 14th quickest, again showed good form, as did Sam West combined 20th fastest on the PRL Racing BMW.

Vauxhall International North West 200 – Combined Superstock Qualifying Times:

1 Alastair Seeley 4.22.104
2 Michael Rutter 4.27.057
3 Lee Johnston 4.27.688
4 Ian Hutchinson 4.27.767
5 Dean Harrison 4.28.104
6 Martin Jessopp 4.28.787
7 Michael Dunlop 4.29.698
8 James Hillier 4.30.133
9 Horst Saiger 4.30.766
10 William Dunlop 4.30.996
11 Peter Hickman 4.31.127
12 Dan Kneen 4.31.613
13 Derek Sheils 4.32.980
14 Jamie Coward 4.33.086
15 Steve Mercer 4.35.431
16 Guy Martin 4.37.192
17 Daley Mathison 4.37.853
18 James Cowton 4.37.888
19 Michael Sweeney 4.38.288
20 Sam West 4.38.450


Alastair Seeley’s Supersport dominance around the Triangle, continued today, as he wrapped up pole position for the upcoming opening 600 encounter, scheduled this evening.

Alastair’s lap time of 4 minutes 36.444 seconds, was over 1.2 seconds quicker, than nearest challenger Lee Johnston (4.37.666) who was the only other rider to lap under the 4 minutes 38 seconds barrier.

Following a visibly determined late lap in qualifying, Michael Dunlop finished third fastest, showcasing that he’s not to be discounted for race honours with his own teams YZF R6 Yamaha.

Martin Jessopp fourth quickest, was close behind, followed by ZX-6R Kawasaki mounted duo Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Racing) and James Hillier (JG Speedfit Kawasaki).

Peter Hickman kept close attendance on the TROOPER liveried Triumph, as did Ian Hutchinson (McAMS Yamaha) who is beginning to run into form on the 2017 spec YZF R6 Yamaha.

William Dunlop battled his way to ninth spot in qualifying, rising star Adam McLean’s stock within the pure roads fraternity, continues to rise, as he finished an impressive tenth quickest.

McAdoo Kawasaki’s James Cowton 13th, Michael Sweeney 16th and Christian Elkin 18th fastest, all showed accomplished pace, whilst newcomers to impress included 2014 IRRC Supersport champion Joey Den Besten.

Vauxhall International North West 200 – Combined Supersport Qualifying Times:

1 Alastair Seeley 4.36.444
2 Lee Johnston 4.37.666
3 Michael Dunlop 4.38.978
4 Martin Jessopp 4.39.512
5 Dean Harrison 4.39.667
6 James Hillier 4.40.070
7 Peter Hickman 4.40.291
8 Ian Hutchinson 4.40.648
9 William Dunlop 4.41.090
10 Adam McLean 4.41.352
11 John McGuinness 4.41.371
12 Bruce Anstey 4.42.474
13 James Cowton 4.42.883
14 Paul Jordan 4.43.030
15 Jamie Coward 4.43.601
16 Michael Sweeney 4.43.710
17 Dan Cooper 4.44.454
18 Christian Elkin 4.45.692
19 Horst Saiger 4.45.854
20 Daley Mathison 4.46.897

Words by Stevie Rial