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BMW Motorrad Motorsport

Coleraine, Northern Ireland, 23/05/2018, BMW Road Race Challenge

The road racers continue on winning ways

Top-four lock-out and one-two finish at the North West 200

The international road racing season has begun: the North West 200 was the first major event on this year’s calendar. BMW riders enjoyed an extremely successful race week in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. They celebrated a top-four lock-out and a one-two finish in the Superstock races, as well as one second place and one third place to reach the podium in the Superbike events.

As the North West 200 is part of the BMW Combined Road Race Challenge (BMW RRC), points are scored in the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy. You can find all results from the North West 200 in an overview below.

Perfect start to the event

The action in the 1000cc classes began on Thursday with the first Superstock race which was dominated by BMW riders as they celebrated a top-four lock-out. Peter Hickman claimed his first North West 200 victory with the Team Smiths Racing BMW. On the final lap, Hickman pulled off a brave overtaking manoeuvre to pass Tyco BMW rider Alastair Seeley, who had been in the lead up to that point. Seeley finished in second position, 0.5 seconds behind. Michael Dunlop (MD Racing / Tyco BMW Motorrad) was just another half-second behind in third place, also reaching the podium. The top-four lock-out was completed by Michael Rutter on his Bathams Racing BMW.

Saturday is traditionally the main race day at the North West 200. The first Superbike race was the opening event on the schedule and Rutter reached the podium, finishing in third place. In fact, Seeley had crossed the line in third position. However, a five-second penalty for a jump start saw him slip to fifth in the final standings.

Next up was the Saturday race in the Superstock class. Hickman and Seeley delivered another enthralling duel for the lead. This time it was Seeley, who has won at least one race at the North West 200 every year since 2008 and holds the record for NW200 wins, who prevailed. The Tyco BMW rider crossed the line first, 0.186 seconds ahead of Hickman in second. Dunlop finished fourth, missing out on a podium by two-tenths of a second.

The North West 200 concluded with the Feature Superbike Race on Saturday – Dunlop did reach the podium that time, finishing second on his Tyco BMW S 1000 RR. Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW) crossed the line fourth, just 0.2 seconds behind the third-placed rider.

The reactions

Alastair Seeley:
“I struggled a little to get the package perfected this year for the North West, but the boys worked hard to get me comfortable and we’ve yet again proved that when it all comes together, Alastair Seeley on a Tyco BMW S 1000 RR is the strongest Superstock package at the event. I was aware that it would come down to the last chicane on the last lap, so on the laps before, I looked down the inside and outside to keep them all guessing; then on the last lap I made my mind up to use the outside line – a strategy that Philip Neill and I have discussed many times previously. Honestly, there was no margin for error as we left it as late as possible, but I have a lot of faith in the package and it was enough to get back in front and grab the win. It was a tough race, but a great way to finish the event . Thanks to Philip and Hector and the boys for a big effort.”

Peter Hickman:
“I’m naturally delighted to have won my first NW200 Superstock race and the team deserved it as much as me as they’ve worked incredibly hard and given me a great bike. I timed it perfectly in the first race and thought I’d done the same in the second as I tried to get a gap - only for Alastair to brake later than I thought possible at the final chicane. In both Superbike races, I made really good starts but had a problem with the rear tyre that forced me out. Then in the second, a stone got flicked up and it went through the fairing and then through the radiator pipe which was incredibly unlucky. But overall, it’s been a solid enough meeting ahead of the Isle of Man TT.”

Michael Dunlop:
“I think I could have been a lot closer to contest the win only for tyre problems. These issues forced me to run in deep a few times, which upsets the rhythm and stopped me riding the Tyco BMW as hard as I know I can. My last lap was about ten seconds slower than my fastest lap, so I think that explains it without having to go into too much detail. But overall I have to say I’m happy with the package and working with the team. Time was against us, but we knew that coming here. The Isle of Man TT is up next and if anything it’s given us valuable information for going there. Second place is not a win, but we will hopefully correct that pretty soon.”

Philip Neill (Team Manager Tyco BMW):
“A fantastic showcase of racing on the beautiful North Coast and we managed to add to our race win record which now stands at 28. We did have a challenge this year with set up and a few niggly problems, but the Superstock race win for Alastair was superb and a second place for Michael in the feature Superbike race in his first major race with Tyco BMW was a fantastic end to the day’s racing. Overall we head to the Isle of Man TT with optimism and hope to reward our sponsors Tyco and BMW with further podium success.”

Results North West 200, Coleraine:

Superstock race Thursday:

1st Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW)
2nd Alastair Seeley (Tyco BMW Motorrad) (+ fastest race lap)
3rd Michael Dunlop (MD Racing)
4th Michael Rutter (Bathams Racing)
9th Sam West (PRL Worthington)
11th David Johnson (Gulf BMW)
14th Daniel Cooper (IMP Cross Engineering)
15th Dominic Herbertson (BHR)
16th Stefano Bonetti
18th Craig Neve (Callmac/Jackson Academy)
23rd Donald MacFadyen
24th Paul Williams (Paul Potchy Williams)
DNF Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW)
DNF Dan Kneen (Tyco BMW Motorrad)
DNF Darren Cooper (NW Racing)
DNF Bruce Birnie (Carnegie Fuels)
DNF Mike Norbury (Ecta Training)
DNF Jean Pierre Polet (JPM Team)

Superbike race Saturday:

3rd Michael Rutter
5th Alastair Seeley
7th Martin Jessopp
8th Sam West
10th Daniel Cooper
11th Craig Neve
DNF Peter Hickman
DNF Dominic Herbertson
DNF Darren Cooper
DNF Bruce Birnie
DNF David Johnson
DNF Donald MacFadyen
DNF Andy Sekkats (ASM Road Racing)
DNF Michael Dunlop (Tyco BMW Motorrad)
DNF Dan Kneen

Superstock race Saturday:

1st Alastair Seeley
2nd Peter Hickman (+ fastest race lap)
4th Michael Dunlop
6th Dan Kneen
7th Martin Jessopp
10th Daniel Cooper
11th Michael Sweeney (MJR Racing)
14th Michael Rutter
15th Dominic Herbertson
16th Bruce Birnie
17th Darren Cooper
21st Mike Norbury
22nd Paul Williams
DNF Sam West
DNF Craig Neve
DNF Jean Pierre Polet

Feature Superbike race Saturday:

2nd Michael Dunlop
4th Martin Jessopp
7th Michael Rutter
10th Alastair Seeley
12th Sam West
15th Bruce Birnie
17th Paul Williams
21st Andy Sellars
DNF Peter Hickman
DNF Dan Kneen