North West 200 race goers had been treated by mostly glorious sunshine this week but come main race day on Saturday mother nature made things a little more complicated. The 90-year-old race run on the streets of North-West Ireland plays host to many of the stars of ‘road racing’ ahead of the Isle of Man TT each year.
With deteriorating conditions around the 8.9 mile Triangle circuit, the feature Merrow Hotel and Spa Superbike race of the 2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils was called off after the riders carried out their sighting lap.
Heavy rain and non-racing incidents had also disrupted the earlier part of the programme.
As conditions improved in the early afternoon a series of brilliant races were run, producing first international road race victories for Davey Todd (Supersport), and James Hillier who dominated the Superstock event.
Glenn Irwin was the popular winner of the Anchor Bar superbike race ahead of James Hillier and Conor Cummins after what had been titanic battle between the leading two Kawasaki men and Cummins on the Padgett’s Honda.
Michael Dunlop retired early with bike problems while Gary Johnson was another high profile rider that failed to finish. John McGuinness finished just outside the top ten on the Norton in Superbike.
Jeremy McWilliams had suffered a trying week at one of the very few races the timeless 55-year-old participates in these days. Bike problems earlier in the week had left him well down the grid then during the first SuperTwins race early in the week he was run wide by another rider and had to take the other type of paddock he is not so use to frequenting. The Northern Irishman made up for it on Saturday though with victory in what may well be his last race appearance at the NW200. It was a close run affair with Christian Elkin nipping at his heels throughout while Michael Rutter rounded out the SuperTwins podium.
NW200 Event Director, Mervyn Whyte
“We didn’t have much luck during the early part of the day when we faced very challenging conditions but the teams, competitors and fans all stayed with us and we turned things around. We have decided in the interests of safety to bring the proceedings to a close now because the conditions have deteriorated once again. It is disappointing but I want to pay tribute to everyone who has supported us today and braved the weather to cheer on the riders as they put on a fantastic spectacle.”
- James Hillier – Kawasaki
- Richard Cooper – Suzuki +3.260
- Davey Todd – BMW +3.387
- Dean Harrison – Kawasaki +10.996
- Lukas Maurer – Kawasaki +51.350
- Michael Rutter – BMW +64.961
- Matthew Rees – Kawasaki +67.948
- Glenn Irwin – Kawasaki +75.125
- Horst Saiger – Yamaha +78.273
- Chris Green – BMW +117.194
- Glenn Irwin – Kawasaki
- James Hillier – Kawasaki +0.163
- Conor Cummins – Honda +0.461
- Derek Sheils – Suzuki +9.842
- Alastair Seeley – Ducati +19.760
- Richard Cooper – Suzuki +35.202
- Michael Rutter – Honda +58.989
- Matthew Rees – Kawasaki +62.498
- Lukas Maurer – Kawasaki +63.277
- Tom Weeden – Suzuki +88.481
- Davey Todd – Honda
- Derek McGee – Kawasaki +0.340
- Conor Cummins – Honda +0.625
- Paul Jordan – Yamaha +3.437
- Christian Elkin – Yamaha +79.515
- Jeremy McWilliams
- Christian Elkin +1.303
- Michael Rutter +26.554
- Matthew Rees +42.197
- Joseph Loughlin +42.645