NW200 race results
British superbike star Michael Rutter bagged one superbike win at the NW200 in Northern Ireland on Saturday but missed out on his second successive double when a rain shower made tyre choice something of a lottery. See our front page coverage in our special Irish issue of MCN this week.
Bruce Anstey took the second superbike race victory for Suzuki.
Rutter’s race one win meant he collected his 11th victory on the public roads circuit - which links the towns of Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine – in front of more than 100,000 fans. But he retired from the last race of the day.
The first Dewalt Superbike Race started with Rutter taking the lead on the charge down to University Corner on the opening lap. The 2.9-second advantage held by the Leicestershire rider at the end of lap one was reduced by Steve Plater on lap three with a new lap record of 4:22.953 (122.750mph) on the Honda-Racing.co.uk CBR1000RR Fireblade.
Plater then took the lead at Ballysally roundabout on the following lap, setting up a thrilling climax to the six-lap race. Rutter - on the HM Plant Honda - to slipstreamed Plater and retook first place on the approach to University Corner on lap five – setting a new lap record of 4:22.346 (123.034mph) in the process. Rutter just held on to win by 0.249 of a second.
Rutter was on course for his second consecutive double win at the North West 200 on his blade when a shower came down. A drying track left tyre choice a lottery for the entire superbike field as they lined up for the Blackhorse North West 200 Superbike Race. Rutter opted for treaded Michelins.
Fourth at the Ballysally roundabout and fifth at the Metropole, Rutter had been relegated to sixth by the end the first lap. He was running in fourth on lap four when the British Superbike Championship leader decided to retire with a lap remaining. Race two was won by Bruce Anstey.
Dewalt Superbike Race: 1. M. Rutter (Honda) 26:24.248; 2. S. Plater (Honda-Racing.co.uk) +0.249; 3. A. Archibald (Suzuki) +36.608; 4. R. Britton (Team DMRR Honda Racing) +36.783; 5. B. Anstey (Suzuki) +37.238; 6. M. Finnegan (Honda) +45.246
Blackhorse North West 200 Superbike Race: 1. B. Anstey (Suzuki) 24:02.227; 2. R. Britton (Team DMRR Honda Racing) +0.949; 3. I. Lougher (Team DMRR Honda Racing) +23.206; 4. M. Finnegan (Honda) + 38.040; 5. G. Martin (Suzuki) +44.565; 6. A. Archibald (Suzuki) + 45.061;
Click here for more – and results from all the races