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Alastair Seeley becomes North West 200's most successful racer

 Alastair Seeley celebrates winning the opening Supersport race at the North West 200 yesterday, with Ian Hutchinson second and Martin Jessop third 
Picture by Pacemaker
Willis Marshall

CARRICKFERGUS rider Alastair Seeley has become the most successful North West 200 racer of all-time after winning his 16th race at the Vauxhall-sponsored event on Thursday evening.

Seeley was the runaway winner of the opening Supersport race on the GearLink ZX600RR Kawasaki after breaking away from a huge battle that lasted until the final circuit.

“As a boy everybody has dreams and this is a dream come true for me,” the 36-year-old said as he celebrated his victory.

“It is unbelievable to be named in the same breath as the Dunlops.”

The Carrickfergus man equalled the late Robert Dunlop’s tally of 15 victories at the seaside event last May and there was a huge weight of expectation on his shoulders. 

The six-lap Supersport was a race worthy of a new record with Seeley leading in the opening laps before Ian Hutchinson (CAME Yamaha) took over at the front at mid distance.

Hutchy eventually finished second behind Martin Jessopp (Riders Triumph) with William Dunlop (IC Racing Yamaha), Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki),

Lee Johnston (ECC Burdens Triumph) and James Hillier (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) all figuring in the mix throughout the thrilling encounter.

In the end, though, it was to be Seeley’s race as he moved into the lead at the end of lap five and pulled away from the rest of the field.

“I knew that if I could get a bit of clear track I could do that on the last lap,” Seeley smiled.

“I had a look back at Magherabouy and I knew I wouldn’t be slipstreamed as I had a gap. But I had to work for that win.”

Racing for the Supertwins class was cut short after two laps when race organisers had to stop the meeting due to a serious fire on a property near station corner.

Dan Cooper, one of the two riders involved in a crash during the Supertwins race was taken to Causeway Hospital, Coleraine and treated for shoulder injuries.

Ryan Farquhar was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast with chest and pelvic injuries.

Both riders were last night described as being in a stable condition and neither has life threatening injuries.

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