BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Coleraine, Northern Ireland, 18/05/2016, BMW Road Race Challenge
The North West 200 in the Northern Irish town of Coleraine, represented the first of the 2016 season’s major international road races, which count towards the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy as part of the BMW Combined Road Race Challenge (BMW RRC).
The BMW riders produced a dominant performance on the 14-kilometre Triangle circuit: victory in the Superstock and Superbike races, a new lap record in each, and five of a possible six podiums for the BMW S 1000 RR. However, the race day at the NW200 ended in tragedy. Young, British Kawasaki rider Malachi Mitchell-Thomas was killed in a crash in the second of the two races in the SuperTwin class. Racing at the event was subsequently cancelled. The thoughts of everyone in the BMW Motorrad Motorsport community are with Malachi’s family, friends and team. We would like to express our sincere condolences to them.
The first race featuring BMW riders on the Saturday of the North West 200 was the Superstock race. Half a dozen riders were embroiled in a close battle for the lead at the head of the field. Tyco BMW rider Ian “Hutchy” Hutchinson set a new lap record with his BMW S 1000 RR on the final lap to win by 0.6 seconds.
It was Hutchinson’s third victory at the North West 200. His last win there came back in 2010, after which he suffered a serious injury to his leg that almost ended his career.
“After my injury, I thought that I would never ride here again. So to come back in this way means an awful lot to me,” said Hutchinson after his Superstock win. “BMW and the Tyco team were simply fantastic. They gave me so much time on the bike. Therefore, I am delighted to get this win for them at their home race.”
Alastair Seeley also made it onto the podium with his Royal Airforce Regular & Reserves BMW S 1000 RR: he finished third.
After the Superstock race, the riders switched to their Superbikes, as next up was the race in the most prestigious category. This ended with a one-two-three for the BMW S 1000 RR – and was dominated by Michael Dunlop’s comeback. After a difficult 2015 season, he bounced back emphatically to secure victory with a new lap record on his Hawk Racing BMW S 1000 RR. Hutchinson was second, while Michael Rutter (Bathams BMW) completed the all-BMW podium in third place.
“I must thank Steve Hicken and his team, who have worked their butts off to give me a good package,” Dunlop said. “The next stop is the TT and if the Hawk BMW performs as well there as it did around here, we’ll be in with a shout of the big wins.”