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Summary

  1. Seeley earns 23rd NW200 win in Supersport class
  2. Hickman pips Seeley in Superstock race
  3. Jessopp clinches Supertwins triumph
  4. Contact commentators - @BBC_Bikes
  5. Email: nw200@bbc.co.uk
  6. Main five-race schedule on Saturday

Live Reporting

By John Haughey

All times stated are UK

That's all folks

What a thrilling night of race action we've had at the North West 200.

The wee wizard from Carrickfergus Alastair Seeley increased his record haul of North West wins to 22 as he came in well ahead of James Hillier and Lee Johnston in Supersport Race 1.

Seeley, who has now earned a North West win for 11 straight years, looked certain to earn another success in Superstock Race 1 only for Peter Hickman to break his duck thanks to a sensational late overtaking manoeuvre at Juniper.

The night ended ended with Martin Jessopp's Supertwins win as he produced a final-lap surge to finish ahead of 54-year-old Jeremy McWilliams and long-time leader Joey Thompson.

We do it all again on Saturday with five races taking place on the main day of action - including both Superbike races.

We would be delighted to have your company again then as we also again bring live video and radio coverage from the big event.

Jessopp saves the best for last

Martin Jessopp started his evening by riding into Mill Road roundabout after being the early leader in the Supersport race but finishes on a high as he snatches a dramatic late Supertwins win.

Martin Jessopp didn't lead the Supertwins race until late in the final lap

Jessopp enjoys Supertwins victory

I really worked hard for that. The Paton was so fast - it was a rocket-ship.

Martin JessoppSupertwins race winner

Jessopp snatches Supertwins win on last lap

After a difficult start to the evening, Martin Jessopp clinches a dramatic Supertwins win as he passes long-time leader Joey Thompson to take victory.

With Thompson struggling on a couple of corners on the final lap, he has to be content with third spot as 54-year-old former MotoGP star Jeremy McWilliams pips him for second spot.

Martin Jessopp wins the Supertwins race
BBC Sport
Martin Jessopp wins the Supertwins race

Cowton takes lead early on final lap

James Cowton passes long-time leader Thompson at the start of the final lap.

Thompson leads at halfway

Young Yorkshire rider Joey Thompson looks to have a significant power advantage on his Paton as he leads by 0.243 seconds after two laps from Adam McLean and Martin Jessopp with McWilliams now 0.897 off the pace in fourth and James Cowton and Christian Elkin completing the top six.

Evergreen McWilliams leads Supertwins race

Fifty-four year-old Jeremy McWilliams is leading the four-lap Supertwins race after the opening circuit.

Hickman thrilled to earn first NW200 triumph

Peter Hickman produces a remarkable late overtaking manoeuvre to pip Alastair Seeley in Superstock Race 1

Patience pays off as Hickman races to first NW200 win

Finally something has gone right for once. I waited to the last corner and did him (Alastair Seeley) at a place where he couldn't get back. I knew I was fast and I wasn't going to get that far and not win it.

Peter HickmanSuperstock race winner

Hickman breaks North West 200 duck

Peter Hickman produces a sensational late overtaking manoeuvre to pip Alastair Seeley by 0.578 seconds and earn his first North West 200 win in Superstock Race 1.

BBC commentator Steve Parrish wonders whether Seeley will be upset with Hickman's late move down the inside line at the Juniper chicane but there's an immediate handshake between the two riders as they pull into the pits.

Michael Dunlop occupies the other podium spot 1.15 seconds behind Hickman with Rutter a further second back in fourth.

James Hillier and Dean Harrison complete the top six.

Peter Hickman with his first NW200 win
BBC Sport
Peter Hickman clinches his first NW200 win

Rutter challenging leading trio

Forty-six year-old Michael Rutter has joined the leading trio by the start of the final lap.

Seeley leads Hickman by 0.43 seconds at the start of the final lap with Dunlop and Rutter both close by.

Top three unchanged after four laps

Seeley still leading from Hickman and Michael Dunlop. It's surely between those three with James Hillier more than two seconds off the pace in fourth.

Seeley leading at halfway

There is almost an air of inevitability as Seeley takes the lead by halfway after gliding past Hickman and Dunlop.

Seeley leads Hickman by 0.33 seconds with Dunlop a further .50 adrift.

Dunlop moves into the lead

Michael Dunlop, on his Tyco BMW, leads Hickman by 0.60 seconds after lap two with that man Seeley close by in third. Dan Kneen and Dean Harrison have lost ground by overshooting a chicane near the end of the second circuit.

Hickman leads after opening lap

Hickman is back ahead at the end of the first lap with Michael Dunlop close by in second and Hillier next. Alastair Seeley is in touch so there is a long way to go in this six-lapper.

We're off in Superstock race

After not qualifying for the opening Supersport race, Peter Hickman took an early lead in the Superstock Race 1 before going wide at York Corner to leave James Hillier in the lead midway through the first lap.

Superstock hopefuls out on sighting lap

For the second time, the Superstock hopefuls are sent out on a sighting lap. Hopefully, the low sun will not be a problem for the riders.

Is that a Honda or Yamaha wheelbarrow?

Lee Johnston with a change of machinery as he takes the weight off the feet in the pit lane

Jessopp jests after Supersport mishap

When asked what happened in Supersport 1 race after his early collision with the Mill Road roundabout, Martin Jessopp replies: "Alastair won".

Seeley on the limit as he touches kerb

Alastair Seeley using all the road and a bit more on his way to winning the opening Supersport race

Thirty-minute delay to Superstock race

Unfortunately, there will be a 30-minute delay to the Superstock event after an oil spillage on the course. With a further warm-up lap to be undertaken, there could be some doubt now about the concluding Supertwins taking place tonight. Will keep you posted.

What is the North West 200?

Since its inception in 1929, the annual North West 200 has not only established itself as one of the fastest motorcycle road races in the world but it has also grown into Ireland’s largest outside sporting event.

Named due to its initial intended location and its original distance (200 miles), the North West 200 has been hosted by the Coleraine & District Motor Club since 1964.

Irwin's chilled North West evening

On his evening off, Glenn Irwin is watching the races on the course while kicking football with his infant son Freddie.

The Carrickfergus man is only competing in the Superbike class at the meeting.

Lovely picture.

View more on twitter

Superstock Race 1 up next

The Superstock machines are already out on the grid for the next race as the sun is still shining on the North Coast of Northern Ireland.

Seeley topped Superstock qualifying earlier today so will be a strong favourite to bring up North West 200 win number 23 as he moves to a Tyco BMW machine.

Seeley continues 11-year NW 200 winning run

Alastair Seeley gives his reaction to his dominant Supersport victory

Seeley wins by 2.447 seconds

Seeley on his EHA Yamaha had 2.447 seconds to spare from Kawasaki rider Hillier with Fermanagh man Johnston 3.536 seconds off the pace on his Padgetts Honda. Harrison recovered from his early problems to finish in fourth.

Seeley 'puts foot down' to win opener

That was a nice one - I was comfortable on the bike and I bidded my time. On the last lap I knew I needed to make a break and on the coast road I put the foot down. I've won here every year since 2008 and I've continued that so that's one box ticked.

Alastair SeeleySupersport race winner

I had plenty in the tank - Seeley

Seeley seems the calmest man in the paddock as he speaks to BBC Sport Northern Ireland's Stephen Watson after his victory.

"I had plenty in the tank. I knew from qualifying that the bike was good and doing everything that I wanted," said Seeley.

Seeley clinches 22nd NW200 win

The wee wizard from Carrickfergus produces a perfect last lap to clinch his 22nd North West 200 win ahead of James Hillier and Lee Johnston.

Alastair Seeley wins the Supersport Race
BBC Sport
Alastair Seeley earns 22nd North West 200 win

Seeley still ahead with a lap left

Seeley is leading Harrison at start of the final lap but then almost comes to grief as he clips the kerb. The back wheel wobbled alarmingly but the Carrickfergus man stayed upright. Hillier now in third.

Seeley leading out on the road

After four laps, Seeley is leading from a charging Harrison with Lee Johnston in third with James Hillier, Gary Johnson and Conor Cummins also in close proximity.

But have any of those riders have been hit with 10-second penalties?

Mill Road mishap

Martin Jessopp smacks into Mill road roundabout with Dean Harrison unable to take evasive action as several riders are forced to round the barrier the wrong way

Harrison not out of it

Despite his early mishap, Harrison has brilliantly worked his way up to seventh spot with James Hillier, Lee Johnston and Alastair Seeley occupying the first three spots. Both Michael and William Dunlop have pulled into the pits we're hearing.

Ten-second penalties handed out

We're hearing that the organisers have given those riders who went around the roundabout the wrong way a 10-second penalty - if they didn't brake. How that is going to be worked out, I'm not quite sure.

Immediate spill in Supersport race

The Supersport race is under way and already we appear to have lost Martin Jessopp and Dean Harrison.

Jessopp failed to negotiate Mill Road roundabout with Harrison unable to to avoid his fellow Englishman.

The incident forced a number of following riders to take evasive action by going around the roundabout the wrong way. Not sure what the organisers will do about that.

Hickman a non-qualifer for Supersport race

Lincolnshire rider Peter Hickman is a notable absentee from the Supersport race after he didn't manage to get in enough laps on his Triumph.

BBC commentator Steve Parrish reckons that Mervyn Whyte and the other event organisers perhaps should have given the Englishman special dispensation to compete.

But it appears rules are rules so no Hickman in the opener.

Peter Hickman failed to qualify for the Supersport race
Pacemaker
Peter Hickman is missing from Thursday's opening Supersport race

Irwin leads Superbike qualifying

Glenn Irwin led Superbike qualifying earlier but the Carrickfergus man is only competing in the premier class at the meeting so has an evening off.

If you want to have a closer look at the qualifying positions from this afternoon, click here.

BBC Coverage

BBC Sport will be broadcasting action from the North West 200 throughout race week, including practice sessions and all the races.

Thursday, 17 May

17:15-21:00 BST: NW 200 Evening Racing – Connected TV and BBC Sport website and app plus live on BBC Radio Ulster Medium Wave.

Saturday, 19 May

North West 200 – Race Day

09:45-18:00 BST – Connected TV and BBC Sport website and app; live on BBC Radio Ulster MW

14:00-18:00 BST – BBC Red Button

Let the racing begin!

Well after some thrilling qualifying action earlier today, we're into racing proper this evening at the North West 200.

Alastair Seeley will have high hopes of adding to his event-record 21 North West wins after topping the Supersport and Superstock qualifying sessions this afternoon.

First up, we have the six-lap Supersport Race 1 with Superstock Race 1 then following over the same duration before the smaller Supertwins machines are in action in a four-lapper.

Martin Jessopp led the Supertwins practice times earlier today.

The sun is out on the North Coast and all looks in place for an exciting evening of road racing.