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Summary

  1. Alastair Seeley wins Supersport opener
  2. Ryan Farquhar takes Supertwins victory
  3. Superstock race stopped after crash

Live Reporting

By Lyle Jackson

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's all for now folks, but we'll be back on Saturday morning for at least five races on the north coast.

All eyes will be on Alastair Seeley - can the 'Wee Wizard' equal or even better Robert Dunlop's tally of success?

Robert Dunlop
BBC

Tonight's win takes the Carrickfergus man level on 13 with Joey Dunlop and Michael Rutter.

It's over

Bad news - there will be no further racing tonight, so just two of the three events were completed.

However, organisers plan to run the Superstock race again on Saturday.

Byrne 'blown away' by NW 200

British Superbike Championship star Shane 'Shakey' Byrne is enjoying a first visit to the North West 200 and says he is "blown away" by the speeds achieved by the competitors.

"Total respect to the boys but I will stick to short circuits. I once did a parade lap at the Isle of Man TT in 2003 and I frightened myself to death," added the 38-year-old.

A Road Closing Order requires racing to finish by 21:00, so if we get a restart it will likely be over a reduced distance.

If the race is restarted it will be without Bruce Anstey - the New Zealander has decided to pull out because of a low sun, which is causing difficulties for riders.

The red flag was for an incident involving a rider in the second wave - organisers hope to get the race restarted.

Ryan Farquhar celebrates finishing on the top step of the NW200 Supertwins podium
Press Eye
Ryan Farquhar celebrates finishing on the top step of the NW200 Supertwins podium

There will be a restart, with the riders going back to the grid before racing the full distance of six laps.

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Red flag

The Superstock race is halted - we'll have more news soon

Go! Go! Go!

Alastair Seeley blasts into the lead in the Superstock race with Lee Johnston and Michael Dunlop making up the early front three.

Phillip McCallen

11-times TT winner

"I don't expect Guy Martin to be on the podium in this Superstock race. Something was bothering him today and I just don't think he will challenge in this race."

Alastair Seeley celebrates his Supersport victory on Thursday night
Press Eye
Alastair Seeley celebrates his Supersport victory on Thursday night

Can Alastair make it a double as he prepares for the Supersport race?

Supertwins Race One - Final Positions

1. Ryan Farquhar

2. Jeremy McWilliams

3. Jamie Hamilton

4. Christain Elkin

5. Derek McGee

6. Michael Sweeney

Farquhar's fairytale win

Dungannon man Ryan Farquhar is thrilled as he clinches Supertwins victory, which vindicates his decision to come out of retirement.

Ryan Farquhar captures his fifth NW200 Supertwin trophy
Press Eye
Ryan Farquhar captures his fifth NW200 Supertwin win

"This has to be one of my best ever wins," adds the 39-year-old.

Chequered flag

Ryan Farquhar punches the air in triumph as he edges out KMR Kawasaki team-mate Jeremy McWilliams to clinch his fifth Supertwins victory at the North West 200.

It's another Northern Ireland 1-2-3 as Jamie Hamilton comes home in third place.

There are just four laps in the Supertwins race and at the halfway stage leader Ryan Farquhar is 1.5 seconds ahead of Jeremy McWilliams.

Ryan Farquhar is favourite to land a fifth career victory at the Northern Ireland meeting after leading the Supertwins qualifiers.

Farquhar's North West days appeared over after he retired in 2012 but he couldn't resist a return to action.

"I never even thought I'd be back on pole position at the North West 200," said the Dungannon man before the start of Thursday's race.

recordThat's a record

Alastair Seeley set a new lap record of 117.077mph on his way to winning Thursday night's opener. The Tyco BMW rider finished 7.5 seconds clear of Michael Dunlop.

Alastair Seeley had to battle with his fellow Carrickfergus man early on in Thursday's race
Press Eye
Alastair Seeley clinched his 13th North West 200 victory in Thursday's Supersport opener

Lee Johnston ensured it was a Northern Ireland top-three. Bruce Anstey came in fourth followed by Dean Harrison and Conor Cummins.

Seeley enjoys Carrickfergus duel

Alastair Seeley is delighted to secure his 13th North West 200 win but praises his fellow Carrickfergus man Glenn Irwin who led early on before having to retire because of mechanical trouble.

"Glenn made me work for this. I just thought: 'Try and use your track knowledge and experience'," added the 35-year-old race winner.

Chequered flag

Alastair Seeley cruises to a Supersport victory and the 'Wee Wizard' moves on to 13 North West wins, just two behind the record held by Robert Dunlop.

Michael Dunlop comes in second with Lee Johnston completing the podium.

Steve Parrish

BBC motorcycling commentator

"Alastair Seeley has got so much time in hand now. Something like three seconds."

Alastair Seeley begins to pull clear going into the final lap, easing away from Michael Dunlop.

Retirement

There's disappointment for Glenn Irwin as his race ends because of a mechanical problem on lap two. The 25-year-old was in with a great chance of securing a first victory on his North West debut.

It's now a head-to-head between Alastair Seeley and Michael Dunlop.

Steve Parrish

BBC motorcycling commentator

"Glenn Irwin has really nailed this track."

Alastair Seeley may have made a poor start but he has quickly moved through the field and is battling for the lead on lap one with fellow Carrickfergus rider Glenn Irwin.

Michael Dunlop is close behind in third with Bruce Anstey fourth.

It's a Carrickfergus one-two late in the first lap of the opening Supersport race as favourite Alastair Seeley moves ahead of newcomer Glenn Irwin, who made a magnificent start.

Go! Go! Go!

The bikes thunder away from the start line and they get away cleanly in the six-lap Supersport race with Glenn Irwin storming to the front while pole-setter Alastair Seeley is down in seventh.

Seeley topped your vote for the Supersport winner with 37.3% followed by Michael Dunlop on 21.3% and his brother William on 11.8%.

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William Dunlop will be racing in the opening Supersport race despite his crash in qualifying on Thursday afternoon.

"I didn't think I would be racing but the boys have put in so much work with the bikes, I thought I better give it a go," said the Ballymoney man.

"It feels a good bit better. It's just a little bit sore when I stick my left leg out on the bike."

New Zealand rider Bruce Anstey is looking very relaxed as he pulls a face behind Phillip McCallen who is live on BBC Northern Ireland's online coverage. Bruce will be aiming for his 11th career North West 200 win when the Supersport race starts shortly.

You've just 10 minutes to vote on the winner of tonight's Supersport race!

A bit of news to bring you - English rider James Cowton will not race tonight after suffering a suspected dislocated shoulder in a crash during Supertwins qualifying earlier today.

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Antonio Maeso: @BBC_NI_Bikes A big greeting 4 all of u at the @northwest200 from Spain. Wishing to be there.

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Welcome back to our coverage of the North West 200. It promises to be a cracking evening of action with the opening three races of this year's meeting.

The weather is set fair on the north coast and we get under way at 18:00 BST with the Supersport race, followed by the Supertwins and Superstock classes.

That brings the action to an end for a few hours, but our live video and audio streams will be back at 17:45 BST for tonight's three races.

They are the Supersport, Supertwins and Supersport classes.

Final qualifying ends

The top six in the Superbikes

1. Alastair Seeley (BMW) 121.55mph

2. Lee Johnston (BMW) 120.43

3. John McGuinness (Honda) 120.00

4. Bruce Anstey (Honda) 119.68

5. William Dunlop (BMW) 119.68

6. Michael Rutter (BMW) 119.06

Red flag

The red flags are out again, with just 10 minutes left in the Superbike practice.

There will not be time for the bikes to get out again, so that is it until tonight's three races.

The red flag was not for a racing accident, but to allow the fire brigade access to attend an unrelated emergency.

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Almost over

The final practice session is for the Superbikes and, because of earlier hold-ups in the schedule, has been reduced to a 35-minute run.

That will be it until the serious racing gets under way tonight at 17:45 BST.

The first race is the Supersport and, before the start, we will reveal the result of our poll on who you think will take the chequered flag.