NW200: Irwin pips Seeley in Superbike showdown

Published: 13 May 2017

Glenn Irwin held off Alastair Seeley to take a spectacular victory in this year’s Vauxhall International North West 200 feature race.

After mixed conditions throughout the day, the weather held off enough for a barnstorming seven lap Superbike battle with the two Ulsterman battling to the end with the second Tyco BMW of Ian Hutchinson also in the mix.

A stunning start saw Irwin lead from the off but rival Seeley had his work cut-out after spinning it up on the line.

The North West-specialist carved through the pack to join Irwin, Hutchinson and Rutter at the front in the early stages.

As the second half of the race got underway, it was clear this would be between the Be Wiser Ducati and Tyco BMW of Seeley, with the pair relentlessly scrapping for the lead in what can only be described as a manner akin to short circuit racing.

There was a heart-in-the-mouth moment for Seeley on the final lap as he looked for a way around Irwin on the ultra-high speed run down to University, clipping the grass and losing significant time.

Regaining time, Seeley would then pull a ballsy move on his rival at Church but it wouldn’t be enough to hold the Ducati off, with Irwin back in the lead on the way into the Juniper chicane.

Irwin’s victory comes in just his fourth race at the North West and only his second on a Superbike after making his debut with Be Wiser PBM Ducati this year.

Michael Dunlop improved his week with fourth for Bennetts Suzuki ahead of Rutter on the Bathams BMW with Dean Harrison rounding out the top six.

Martin Jessopp rounded out a strong North West in seventh ahead of Peter Hickman and William Dunlop while Derek Sheils completed the top ten.

Vauxhall North West 200 Superbike Race Result

  1. Glenn Irwin – Be Wiser PBM Ducati
  2. Alastair Seeley – Tyco BMW +0.172
  3. Ian Hutchinson – Tyco BMW +0.729
  4. Michael Dunlop – Bennetts Suzuki +3.389
  5. Michael Rutter – Bathams SMT BMW +7.012
  6. Dean Harrison – Silicone Engineering Kawasaki +18.302
  7. Martin Jessopp – Riders Motorcycles BMW +24.877
  8. Peter Hickman – Smiths BMW +36.599
  9. William Dunlop – Temple Golf Yamaha +47.306
  10. Derek Sheils – Cookstown BE Suzuki +48.259 

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