Alastair Seeley took his winning tally at the North West 200 to six with a dominant performance in the opening Superstock race on Thursday evening. The Tyco Suzuki rider won by over 22 seconds from Lee Johnston who came through from ninth on the grid to finish second while Cameron Donald pipped Ryan Farquhar and Stefano Bonetti on the line to take the final podium position.
The track was damp in places but Seeley was totally unaffected and the Ulsterman paid tribute to an unlikely ally who played a part in his victory.
“It was difficult conditions but once I got to the front on the first lap at University I just watched my boards. I had my BSB team-mate Josh Brookes doing a second board for me out at the Magic Roundabout so we could keep an eye on anyone making inroads from the second group. It worked perfectly, so thanks Josh!”
“Once at the front the gap just jumped from plus two, to plus five then plus 15 and 20. I eased off in the last couple of laps and was short shifting and looking for damp parts of the track to preserve my Pirelli tyres – but they worked perfectly.”
Seeley will start second for the other Superstock race on Saturday and also has pole for both Superbike races, plus the Supersport race, and is hoping to convert them into more success.
“Thanks to the guys in the team for all their hard work. This sets us up really well now for Saturday and with four pole positions and a second place on the grid we will hopefully be in with a shout for more wins on the Tyco Suzukis.”
Tyco Suzuki team manager Philip Neill was full of praise for his lead rider, particularly given the difficulty of the conditions he was faced with.
“That's a really positive start to our week at the North West. Big credit must be given to the organisers for adding races to the programme on a Thursday night. What can I say about Mr Seeley? That was a masterful display and it seems that the more tricky the conditions, the more dominant he becomes. As much as we are ecstatic with the race win, we know that tomorrow's races and any potential podiums will not come easy. Fair play to the guys in the team. They found a great set up for the new GSX-R1000 and along with Pirelli they made Alastair's job that little bit easier.”
Although he missed out on Superstock glory, Ryan Farquhar did taste victory on the opening night after winning the inaugural North West 200 Supertwins race. The 36 year old led a KMR Kawasaki 1-2-3 with Jeremy McWilliams and Michael Rutter joining him on the podium.