North West 200: Alastair Seeley wins three Saturday races to complete four-timer

Alastair Seeley moves into an early lead in the Supersport race on Saturday
Alastair Seeley moves into an early lead in the Supersport race on Saturday

Alastair Seeley took his record tally of North West 200 victories to 21 with a hat-trick of wins on Saturday.

The Carrickfergus rider followed up a Thursday win with success in the opening Superbike race and the Supersport and Superstock events.

However, he was edged out by fellow Carrick man Glenn Irwin in a thrilling feature Superbike race.

The pair fought it out to the line to complete Saturday's racing, which had a three-hour rain delay.

"If you get one win here it is an achievement, so to get four is amazing," said Seeley.

The blue riband race provided a fitting finale as Seeley missed out on equalling Phillip McCallen's record of five wins at a single North West 200 meeting.

Maiden win for Irwin

It was a first NW 200 victory for Irwin on his Be Wiser PBM Ducati and it was hard earned in a superb tussle, while Ian Hutchinson came home third.

"It's an unbelievable feeling - when you are a lad you dream of this so I'm living the dream," said Irwin.

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Glenn Irwin wins his first North West 200

Seeley dominated Saturday's opening Superbike race, winning by 21.61 seconds from Michael Rutter.

Fermanagh man Lee Johnston completed the podium after the race was reduced to four laps because of the wet conditions.

The Superstock race was red-flagged as rain returned but Seeley was declared the winner as the race was more than three-quarters completed.

His Tyco BMW team-mate Ian Hutchinson was back in second with Rutter completing the podium places.

Supersport success

Seeley was forced to retire from Thursday night's Supersport race but he made no mistake in the second contest as he started on pole on his Gearlink Kawasaki.

The 37-year-old, who now has a record 32 podium finishes at the NW 200, led for most of the race and there was a comfortable gap to the Dunlop brothers at the chequered flag.

"I rode smart and then I just got my head down on the last lap," he said.

"I gauged the conditions because they were changing all the time. When guys got past me I made sure I didn't fall too far behind."

Tobermore rider Adam McLean ensured it was a Northern Ireland top-four in Saturday's opener.

Farquhar celebrates Rutter win

Rutter won the Supertwins race, his 14th North West 200 victory, and the Englishman was followed in by Dan Cooper and Martin Jessopp.

Ryan Farquhar was seriously injured at the event last year but the KMR team boss was back to see Rutter winning on one of his machines.

Michael Rutter and team owner Ryan Farquhar embrace after the Supertwins success
Michael Rutter and team owner Ryan Farquhar embrace after the Supertwins success

"You don't know how much this means to me. Last year I was fighting for my life and here we are celebrating a victory," said the emotional Dungannon man.

"I have been to hell and back - I am trying not to cry."

SATURDAY'S VAUXHALL NORTH WEST 200 RESULTS

Supersport
1. Alastair Seeley (NI)Kawasaki29:07.172
2. William Dunlop (NI)Yamaha+4.078 secs
3. Michael Dunlop (NI)Yamaha4.552
4. Adam McLean (NI)Kawasaki6.137
5. Ian Hutchinson (Eng)Yamaha10.259
6. James Hillier (Eng)Honda10.425
Superbike (1)
1. Alastair Seeley (NI)BMW18:53.624
2. Michael Rutter (Eng)BMW+21.610
3. Lee Johnston (NI)Honda28.007
4. Glenn Irwin (NI)Ducati31.220
5. Peter Hickman (Eng)BMW32.132
6. Derek Sheils (ROI)Suzuki32.678
Supertwins
1. Michael Rutter (Eng)Kawasaki19:15.234
2. Dan Cooper (Eng)Kawasaki+0.697
3. Martin Jessopp (Eng)Kawasaki2.114
4. Michael Sweeney (ROI)Kawasaki40.420
5. Marty Lennon (NI)Kawasaki40.810
6. Jamie Cowton (Eng)Kawasaki41.177
Superstock
1. Alastair Seeley (NI)BMW17: 54.458
2. Ian Hutchinson (Eng)BMW+0.226
3. Michael Rutter (Eng)BMW0.690
4. Lee Johnston (NI)BMW0.918
5. Peter Hickman (Eng)BMW1.367
6. Dean Harrison (Eng)Kawasaki18.786
Superbike (2)
1. Glenn Irwin (NI)Ducati30: 54.018
2. Alastair Seeley (NI)BMW+0.172
3. Ian Hutchinson (Eng)BMW0.729
4. Michael Dunlop (NI)Suzuki3.839
5. Michael Rutter (Eng)BMW7.012
6. Dean Harrison (Eng)Kawasaki18.302

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