Ian Hutchinson took his first victory of the 2016 North West 200 in a thrilling Superstock race this afternoon.
Alastair Seeley took the early lead from Hutchinson and Peter Hickman with Michael Rutter also in the mix until a red flag halted proceedings on the first lap as James Hillier crashed out on the Quattro-Plant Muc-Off Kawasaki.
With Hillier reported to be OK, the race was re-started after a short delay. Michael Rutter and Alastair Seeley jostled for the lead on the opening lap but the sheer speed of Hutchinson’s Tyco BMW saw the Yorkshireman leave his rivals for dust into station on lap two.
It had looked as though Hutchinson might check out but GBmoto Kawasaki’s Peter Hickman began to close him in and was on him for the start of the third lap. Using the slipstream, Hickman shot past the BMW rider at station with Michael Rutter slipping past into second place.
After a steady start Michael Dunlop began to move through the ranks as Rutter took the lead from Hickman, but it wasn’t long until Dunlop was at the front with Alastair Seeley also looking to make progress.
Seeley charged into the lead on the final lap with Hutchinson in tow but a mistake for the Ulsterman at Metropole gave his rival the opportunity to breeze past and build enough of a gap to comfortably take the win and lap record.
Hickman took second ahead of Seeley with Michael Rutter in fourth. Michael Dunlop crossed the line fifth with Lee Johnston rounding out the top six.